This match is a World Cup final for both Georgia and Portugal. This is these countries’ chance to get a World Cup win on the board.
Georgia are the strong favourites for this match as they sit much higher in the world rankings than Portugal, but the Iberians will definitely have targeted this match as one that they have the potential to win if they can play at their best. The Portuguese had their moments against Wales and Georgia’s defeat against Australia perhaps doesn’t look as strong as was originally thought in retrospect.
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Georgia vs Portugal Betting Tips
- Portugal +17 Handicap @ 7/10 with BoyleSports
- Shalva Mamukshvili to score try anytime @ 1/1 with Bet365
- Akaki Tabutsadze to score first try @ 7/1 with Bet365
Portuguese to challenge the eastern Europeans
This match actually takes place on a regular basis on the international calendar as both nations have been competing in the Tier 2/3 Rugby Europe International Championships for the past few seasons.
The two have met 5 times since 2020 and Portugal have tied one of those whilst Georgia have dominated the match-up. The Lelos are pretty dominant at Tier 2 level and are deserved favourites, but the average winning margin of the five matches has been 12.8 points.
The task is then to work out what level these current versions of the teams are. Portugal will have been targeting this match for a potential first World Cup win so will be highly motivated, whereas any Georgian win will do. The Portuguese looked in good shape against Wales so it is worth backing them to stay close.
Georgian pack with a point to prove
Many tipped Georgia to do well in Pool C, so they will have been disappointing by their showing against Australia in their opening game.
The scrum and forward pack are usually a point of strength for the Lelos, who were surprisingly poor in that capacity against the Wallabies.
They have subsequently have a point to prove against Portugal, who produced some impressive fast-flowing rugby during their defeat by Wales.
Georgia may well target the Portuguese front five, so we can expect plenty of scrums and driving mauls. Therefore, it could be worth a punt on hooker Shalva Mamukshvili scoring a try at anytime during the contest.
Tabutsadze to continue impressive 2023
Although they were disappointing against Australia, Georgia did manage to get a couple of tries under their belt.
The Lelos should subsequently look to build on that momentum and will certainly fancy adding to their try tally against the Portuguese.
It will present a good opportunity for Akaki Tabutsadze to open his account for the tournament.
The only Georgian player to start all nine of their Tests in 2023, he is their leading try-scorer for the year with 10 – a tally that includes a hat-trick and two doubles.
Therefore, it is definitely worth backing Tabutsadze to get in on the act early on here.
Georgia vs Portugal team news
Georgia make eight changes from the Australia defeat with Mikheil Nariashvili, Beka Gigashvili, Vladimer Chachanidze, Beka Saginadze, Gela Aprasidze, Tedo Abzhandadze, Alexander Todua and Giorgi Kveseladze all coming into the starting XV.
Georgia: Davit Niniashvili, Akabi Tabutsadze, Giorgi Kveseladze, Alexander Todua, Tedo Abzhandadze, Gela Aprasidze; Mikheil Nariashvili, Shalva Mamukashvili, Beka Gigashvili, Vladimer Chachanidze, Konstantine Mikautadze, Tornike Jalagonia, Beka Saginadze, Beka Gorgadze.
Replacements: Tengizi Zamtaradze, Guram Gogichashvili, Guram Papidze, Nodar Cheishvili, Giorgi Tsutskiridze, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Luka Matkava, Demur Tapladze.
Portugal make four changes from their defeat by Wales. Diogo Hasse Ferreira, Jose Madeira, Pedro Bettencourt and Raffaele Storti all come into the starting XV, which is identical to the one that began the Rugby Europe Championship final defeat by Georgia earlier this year.
Portugal: Nuno Sousa Guedes, Raffaele Storti, Pedro Bettencourt, Tomas Appleton, Rodrigo Marta, Jeronimo Portela, Samuel Marques; Francisco Fernandes, Mike Tadjer, Diogo Hasse Ferreira, Jose Madeira, Steevy Cerqueira, Joao Granate, Nicolas Martins, Rafael Simoes.
Replacements: David Costa, Lionel Campergue, Anthony Alves, Martim Belo, David Wallis, Thibault de Freitas, Pedro Lucas, Manuel Cardoso Pinto.