However, De Villiers does not think the Boks will beat the All Blacks at Newlands.
South Africa have only lost once in 2017 – a 57-0 demolition at the hands of old foes New Zealand last month ago in Albany – the worst result in Springbok history.
De Villiers still believes the Springboks will be far more competitive in Cape Town.
“It will be tough for South Africa. You don’t just come back from a 57-0 loss and come back to South Africa and expect the team to win,” he told Sport24.
“A lot will have to change. The All Blacks are better than us at the moment in terms of the way that they have been playing, the structures they have in place, the results that we’ve seen … but our team is a team on the up.”
Despite De Villiers seeing “significant improvement” from South Africa this season, he still doesn’t think they will defeat the All Blacks this weekend.
“We’ll need a little bit of luck to win this one,” added the 36-year-old.
“I’ve got no doubt about the motivation and commitment.
“Hopefully we can push them close. If I vote with my heart, obviously I’d love the Boks to win, but if you look at all the facts it will be very difficult against the best team in the world that is still motivated to beat South Africa every time they play them.
“Will we win? I don’t know. Will we work off with pride? I think so.”