Georgia head coach Vladimir Weiss has declared Friday’s clash against Wales as “very important” as his side go in search of their first victory in World Cup qualifying.
Georgia v Wales
2018 FIFA World Cup - European Qualifiers
The two teams meet at the Boris Paichadze Stadium as a fascinating Group D reaches its penultimate round of fixtures.
But the hosts are still searching for their first three points in qualifying after three defeats and five draws in their eight matches so far.
One of those draws came in the reverse fixture against Wales in Cardiff last autumn when a second-half goal from Tornike Okriashvili cancelled out Gareth Bale’s early opener.
Bale will miss Friday’s game in Tbilisi through injury, but Weiss is determined to see Georgia claim their first victory of the campaign.
“Of course, he (Bale) is one of the best players in the world, but I am not happy that he isn’t playing,” he said. “Injuries are part of football, but another player will come in and Wales are a strong team.
“But we are also missing two good players ourselves in in (Tornike) Okriashvili and (Jano) Ananidze.
“We play against a strong team and a strong coach, so we will see what happens tomorrow. But I hope we see a good game and hopefully a good result for us – we want to win because every game is important for us.
“We will do our best tomorrow and start to look ahead to the next qualification campaign.”
Serbia currently lead the way in Group D with two games to play, four points clear pf second-placed Wales, and will secure their place at next summer’s World Cup if they beat Austria in Vienna.