Wales and Italy finished third in their respective Autumn Nations Cup pools which means the teams will finish their tournament with a clash in Llanelli on Saturday.
Wales v Italy, Saturday 5th December, Llanelli, KO 18:45 (South African time)
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Luke Pearce, Alex Ruiz
TMO: Pascal Gauzere
Weather Forecast: Llanelli
Wales finished third in Pool A, trailing in behind England and Ireland with a record of 1 win and 2 defeats. Their only victory came over Georgia (18-0) and either side of that they were beaten 32-9 by Ireland in Dublin and 24-13 by England at this venue last week. The loss to England was the only match where Wales were worth following on the pre-match betting handicap.
Wales also had a poor 6 Nations which ended with a 14-10 home defeat to Scotland on 31st October. Earlier in the year they lost at home to France (27-23), in England (33-30) and to Ireland in Dublin (24-14) with their only win coming at home to Italy (42-0).
Wales have only lost to Italy on 2 occasions, 6 Nations matches in Rome in 2007 and 2003.
Although France rung the changes for last week's clash with Italy in Paris Italy never got in a blow and they went down 36-5. The Italians only other Nations Cup fixture saw them go down 28-17 at home to Scotland, a game where the pre-match handicap proved to be pretty accurate. Another slated clash with Fiji was called off due to Covid.
In this season's 6 Nations Italy lost all their matches including a 35-22 defeat to France in Paris in what was arguably their best display in that tournament. They had started 2020 with a 42-0 hiding off Wales in Cardiff and since the return from lockdown they were thrashed 50-17 by Ireland in Dublin and then went down 34-5 to England in Rome
Italy have never beaten Wales in Cardiff with a draw in the 2006 edition of the 6 Nations the closest they have come.
Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Josh Adams, 13 George North, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Louis Rees-Zammit, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 James Botham, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Ioan Lloyd, 23 Jonah Holmes
Italy: 15 Jacopo Trulla, 14 Luca Sperandio, 13 Marco Zanon, 12 Carlo Canna, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Braam Steyn, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Maxime Mbanda, 5 Niccolò Cannone, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Giosuè Zilocchi, 2 Luca Bigi (c), 1 Danilo Fischetti
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Simone Ferrari, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Cristian Stoian, 20 Michele Lamaro, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Federico Mori
6N & RWC Head to Head (any venue)
2020 6N Cardiff Wales 42–0 Italy (Tries 5-0)
2019 6N Rome Italy 15-26 Wales (Tries 2-2)
2018 6N Cardiff Wales 38–14 Italy (Tries 5-2)
2017 6N Rome Italy 7-33 Wales (Tries 1-3)
2016 6N Cardiff Wales 67–14 Italy (Tries 9-2)
2015 6N Rome Italy 20-61 Wales (Tries 2-8)
2014 6N Cardiff Wales 23–15 Italy (Tries 2-2)
The Betting – Handicap
Wales -16.5 points at 9/10
Italy +16.5 points at 9/10
Note, odds quoted are correct at the time of writing but are subject to change.
Wales have made a number of changes and the handicap looks difficult to call. Of all the weekend's matches this game makes the least appeal to me but I will work on the assumption the handicap could be about right and go for a home by 11-20 points for a small stake.
Bet: 1 of 5 units, Wales win by 11-20 points 24/10 at BetXchange
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