Ulster play host to Edinburgh in the RaboDirect Pro12 series at Ravenhill this Friday evening(7.05). The hosts will be hoping that they can take full points and advance to the latter stages of the competition.
However, Brian McLaughlin has been forced to plan without a number of players due to injury,and with internationals, Heineken Cup and matches in this series, players are beginning to feel the effects of a long campaign. Nevin Spence is out with a hand injury and it has resulted in a reshuffle, with Ian Whitten moving from the wing. With Chris Henry in Paris with Ireland, Pedrie Wannenburg moves to flanker, while Robbie Diack moves to number eight. The latter has been in excellent form in recent weeks and Ulster will be hoping for another big game from the forward this weekend.
Ulster went fourth in the table after having a point to spare over the Ospreys in their last game and a win this Friday will see them remain in the placings for the knock out stages. It has been a very successful season for the province to date and it is hoped that injuries do not cause their downfall. This is certainly an understrength side they field against Edinburgh and McLaughlin can but hope it is up to the task in hand.
Edinburgh were defeated 26-13 by Connacht in their last match in the series, and would not be one of the stronger sides in the league. If Ulster had to pick their opposition this weekend,given their injury worries, they could not have asked for better opponents. Bookmakers make the Irish side 1/4 to win the game and those odds appear about right. Anything around the 4/5-4/6 mark giving up six points would make Ulster worthy of a bet.