After recalling three British & Irish Lions players, Dan Biggar, Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny, to his starting XV for the Aviva Stadium match, Gatland subsequently stated that it is England, rather than Ireland, who he regards as the strongest team in the tournament.
But Wales boss Gatland, who this week becomes only the second coach after New Zealand World Cup victor Graham Henry to clock up 100 Tests for one country, knows that keeping them quiet will be key to victory hopes in Dublin.
Toby Faletau second right has not played for Wales since the autumn victory over South Africa
"People underestimate how good Wales are defensively, how good they are in attack, you saw how well they played in the second half against England and, on a dry day, they can carve teams up". We have got to put Conor and his kicking game under pressure - we have to be prepared to be pretty physical against them. He's a big go-forward player for them and we must not allow Murray and Sexton to dominate the game. If we can do that, we have got a chance.
Gatland has made three changes to the Wales side that lost to England last time out, with Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams and Dan Biggar all coming back into the fray.
In the build-up to Saturday's game, Gatland was quizzed about whether he thinks Ireland have been the best team in the Six Nations so far.
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The New Zealander has plenty of inside information on the duo having coached them on successive Lions tours and plans on getting in their faces when the sides meet at Lansdowne Road on Saturday. You've got to keep your discipline against Ireland.
"We felt it was the right time to bring him back in and he's been a part of those recent performances and results against Ireland".
"There's a real element of familiarity amongst the two sides as well which obviously contributes to them knowing us a bit better and the fact that we seem to play each other a lot as clubs and country every year too". Our discipline has been excellent in the first two games.
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"Andy Farrell won't be happy with Ireland conceding 19 points against Italy". It is a headache for the coaches I am sure but is a good thing for us.
"There will be a few tough calls on some individuals and we look forward to having that discussion later".
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