A decision on who will play open side flanker will be made after captains run on Saturday either Dragons captain Jason Forster will start or youngster Chris Davies (21) will start his second Celtic League match after making his debut and performing well last week against the Blues.
"Any derby match against fellow Welsh Regions is a daunting prospect, but to face our third in nine days is a real test for our team," commented head coach Paul Turner. "However, I have issued the rallying call to the players to respond to the challenge that is before them.
The whole squad has the self-belief both individually and collectively that we can beat the Ospreys. It is important that we gain a win over them to enhance our chances of Heineken Cup qualification and that is our main aim for the rest of the season. We face a gruelling forward battle on Sunday but we have the forwards who can stand up to the challenge.
We have a mobile and hard working back row; in Ian Gough a player who is playing some of the best rugby of his career and in Peter Sidoli a clever lineout forward who reads the opposition throw in exceptionally well while the front row keep putting in the hard yards game after game.
At halfback we have an international pairing and Gareth Cooper is one of the world's finest scrum halves while Ceri Sweeney always gives 110% and reads the game well. In the centre Jon Bryant is in superb form and Hal Luscombe is rediscovering his pre-injury form and don't forget both are internationals.
In Ben Breeze we have player with a wealth of experience and someone who will get you out of trouble, Gareth Chapman may not possess the same amount of experience at this level but his influence will be crucial and Sione Tuipulotu is another player not unaccustomed to tough times. Either Jason or Michael will captain the side and both will rally the troops, lead from the front and their experience and cool heads are crucial to us on Sunday."
The Dragons have welcomed Ian Gough back at lock and like the decision at open side flanker a decision as to who will play at hooker will also be made after Captains run on Sunday.
"With the results not going as we would have hoped it is a tough time for everyone at The Dragons as we do not want to be in tenth position in the table," commented Dragons summer signing Andrew Hall. "However, it is a position we find ourselves in and it is down to the players to change it. Our aim for the rest of the season is to qualify for Europe and all our efforts will be going into achieving that. Having faced tough times before I know how crucial it is to have good team spirit and we have that in abundance at The Dragons and that will see us through."
Ian Gough is welcomed back into the team after missing the Scarlets and Blues match with an injured shoulder, looking ahead to Sunday he said, "It may be backs to the wall time but the whole squad knows and is confident that we can come through this difficult time. We have proved already this season what we are capable of with our defeat of Leicester and our performance away to Munster.
We have the calibre and type of person here who responds positively to a challenge and who will ensure we come through this challenging time. It is a New Year and new start for The Dragons and we will be doing everything within our power to reach and fulfil our potential. We have to cope with the hand that has been dealt us and we are getting on with the job in hand which is to win on Sunday and long term ensure we qualify for Europe next season."
Dragons: Sione Tuipulotu; Gareth Chapman, Haldane Luscombe, Jon Bryant, Ben Breeze; Ceri Sweeney, Gareth Cooper; Adam Black, Steve Jones/Andrew Brown, Rhys Thomas, Ian Gough, Peter Sidoli, Andrew Hall, Jason Forster/Chris Davies, Michael Owen (capt) Replacements: David Maddocks, Andrew Brown, Gethin Robinson, Bryn Griffiths, Rhys Oakley/Chris Davies, Craig Warlow, Gareth Baber
Ospreys: Adrian Cashmore; Stefan Terblanche, Andrew Bishop, Sonny Parker, Richard Mustoe; Shaun Connor, Shane Williams; Duncan Jones (capt), Huw Bennett, Adam Jones, Andrew Newman, Lyndon Bateman, James Bater, Richard Pugh, Des Dillon Replacements: Andrew Millward, Barry Williams, Jonathan Thomas, Lee Beach, Jason Spice, Matthew Jones, Leigh Davies
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)