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The visitors look in ferocious form having won 11 of their last 12 matches, only losing narrowly to World Champions South Africa at the beginning of this month before bouncing back by putting over 100 points on the USA last week.
Wales are somewhere in between those two sides and will be looking to build on what was a positive Six Nations campaign from the winter, though the manner of some of those victories suggest they won’t nearly have enough to contend with their visitors on this occasion, and that’s even more the case when you factor in the team news.
This game seemingly comes too soon for Liam Williams who is back in training following surgery earlier in the month, while centre Willis Halaholo has now tested positive for COVID-19.
That adds to Justin Tipuric, George North, and Josh Navidi’s absences via injury, while Dan Biggar, Louis Rees-Zammit and Taulupe Faletau are all yet to be released by their clubs, leaving this largely as a second-string Welsh side.
All Blacks -26 Point Handicap
The handicap line currently sits at around the 26-point mark and based on historic meetings alone that looks slightly too high.
Only one of the last nine meetings between these two nations has seen New Zealand win by more than 23 points, and that came in the final test of Wales’ 2016 tour with the series already wrapped up.
Each of the last six meetings in Cardiff have seen Wales cover that 26-point line, with those defeats coming at an average margin of 15.8 points.
However, following Wayne Pivac’s squad announcement, it’s clear that this is not a usual Wales side, with Gareth Anscombe controlling the back-line from fly-half, despite not having featured for Wales in over two years.
This host side will be playing like more of a lower tier one nation rather than Six Nations champions, and the All Blacks will look to stamp their authority on this tour from the off.
ALL BLACKS -26 POINT HANDICAP
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