Warren Gatland has promised his side will be “brimming with ruthless intent” as they welcome Italy to the Millennium Stadium tomorrow.
After securing the Triple Crown with a late 19-12 win over England at Twickenham, Wales are just two wins away from a third Grand Slam in eight years.
But before a potential Six Nations decider with the French, Gatland’s side must get over the tricky hurdle of the Italians.
Following losses to France, England and Ireland, Jacques Brunel’s side may be short on confidence and for many a Welsh victory is a formality.
But however unlikely an Italian win may be, complacency is unlikely to be a problem in the Welsh camp with recent history a warning.
The Azzurri have beaten the Welsh twice since they joined the Six Nations, in 2003 and 2007, but Wales average 39 points against them in Cardiff and a repeat performance seems likely.
Gethin Jenkins captains the side in place of the injured Sam Warburton and despite the Blues flanker’s absence, Wales have a huge amount of firepower in their pack. The Ospreys’ Justin Tipuric starts at seven in place of Warburton with Matthew Rees returning at hooker after recovering from a calf injury.
Lock Luke Charteris is back on the bench and the 6ft 9in lock will be looking to have an impact on the Welsh line-out which has struggled at times in this years’ campaign.
Scrum-half Lloyd Williams will also miss out with his place on the bench taken by the uncapped Rhys Webb.
Italy’s forward pack, led by the Sergio Parisse, have a number of players who can mix it at the highest level but have lacked the quality to compete all over the pitch. Their real problem lies in the half-back positions with Kris Burton and Tobias Botes alternating in the number 10 position in their three matches so far. As a result, they have failed to garner any attacking threat as well as lacking a consistent goal kicker. Parisse has even described his side’s task as “impossible” against what he thinks is the best team in the competition.
“At this moment I can't say that we really can beat Wales because they are playing fantastic rugby," he said.
"Going to Cardiff to the Millennium Stadium against this team is probably something impossible for us."
But Gatland has refused to take a win for granted.
"We are back at the Millennium Stadium in front of our home fans and we need to refocus sharply, after our Triple Crown triumph at Twickenham, if we are to give ourselves the best chance of being in contention for the Championship going into that final weekend against France,” he said.
"Italy will be hoping to find us complacent and with one eye on the French game, but nothing less than victory on Saturday will be accepted by this Wales team or satisfy the nation behind us.”
This show of intent will make ominous reading for the Italians and with the Welsh three quarters in fine form there has to be a worry for the Italian defence.
The Welsh have probably the best attacking options in the northern hemisphere and while Gatland will never admit it, an Italian victory would be a huge shock.
It seems sure to be a case of by how many rather than if Wales will win, setting up a Grand Slam clash with the French next week which is sure to take Cardiff by storm.
WALES: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Rhys Priestland, Michael Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Dan Lydiate, Toby Faletau, Justin Tipuric.
REPLACEMENTS: Ken Owens, Paul James, Luke Charteris, Ryan Jones, Rhys Webb, James Hook, Scott Williams.