Ryan Giggs takes charge of his country for the first time on home soil, but Martin O'Neill's men have happy memories of their last visit to Cardiff.
Indeed, a 1-0 win there almost 12 months ago saw the Irish snatch a World Cup play-off place at the expense of the Euro 2016 semi-finalists.
Wales have won just once in three matches under Giggs thus far but are chalked up as 888Sport's 23/20 (2.15) favourites to come out on top, whilst Ireland are available at 11/4 (3.75) to take all three points from this Nations League curtain-raiser.
These two teams produced just one goal between them in two meetings during the most recent World Cup qualifying campaign and another tight tussle could be on the cards here; indeed, 888Sport offer just 39/20 (2.95) that this match ends all square.
Ashley Williams has retained his place and Paul Dummett is back in the squad after a three-year absence, which included a period where he declared himself unavailable under previous manager Chris Coleman.
Jonathan Walters and Harry Arter were both involved in a heated altercation with assistant manager Roy Keane in June; the former is expected to lead the line in Cardiff, but the latter has not been named in O'Neill's squad.
Shane Long, Robbie Brady, Scott Hogan, James McCarthy and Sean Maguire are absent through injury.
Goals at a premium?
Ireland have failed to score in any of their last three matches away from home and, in fact, there have been goals at both ends in just two of their last seven games on their travels.
There have been goals at both ends in just one of Wales' last nine matches and the 6-0 win against China that opened Giggs' tenure as boss is the only fixture to have featured more than two goals in Wales' last 13 outings.
No fewer than five of the previous seven matches between these nations have produced fewer than two goals and 888Sport's 6/4 (2.50) quote for that trend to continue could offer decent value for punters ahead of Thursday's tussle in the Welsh capital.