Wales may still lack the fluidity to push All Blacks close
New Zealand should sign off gruelling year in style
BBC2, 5.15pm Saturday
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen quipped last week that his team aren't playing Warren Gatland next, they're playing Wales, and he may find this Welsh challenge rather different from what has gone before.
A lot has been made this autumn of Wales moving away from their direct physical attacking style to a more open, offloading game, and there were positive signs in their opening match this month despite a defeat to Australia.
But Gatland is hampered for this clash with the world champions by injuries to Jonathan Davies and Liam Williams, and his decision to overhaul his team completely for last week's narrow win over Georgia has been questioned as it has meant a lack of continuity for the players looking to adapt to the new approach.
More Autumn internationals previews
The All Blacks have injuries of their own to deal with as skipper Kieran Read and Luke Romano are missing from the pack. But winger Rieko Ioane is fit to line up in a fearsome backline who got the better of Scotland's defence not by going wide but by attacking up the middle, and that must be a concern for an unfamiliar Wales midfield.
New Zealand are playing their last match of a gruelling year, so it's quite likely there will be spells in the game when they allow Wales to make the running and the hosts have shown they can keep the ball alive to make chances.
But the All Blacks showed against Scotland just how clinical they are and they can make it a comfortable win to sign off their year. Five of their last seven victories over Wales have been by a margin of 11 to 20 points.
New Zealand to win by 11 to 20 points
1pt 10-3 Coral, Ladbrokes
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