A home league tie against Bedwas tomorrow (KO 1pm), could be viewed as a must win game.
Having lost some of their early season momentum and now lying in fifth position in the table, Ponty will be determined to put behind them a disappointing reverse away at Llanelli last week, with a return to winning ways.
Their opponents currently lie in twelfth position, albeit a comfortable thirteen points clear of the drop zone, and always able to pose a threat.
Ponty's injury problems have been compounded by a couple of industrial accidents this week, with props Stuart Williams and Jon Williams both suffering knocks in work. Also sidelined are centre Dafydd Lockyer (groin),lock Grant Harrington (abdominal tear) and flankers Wayne O'Connor (rib cartilage) and Kristian Dacey (shoulder).
Centre Aaron Bramwell continues to tour New Zealand with the Wales Sevens squad, whilst scrum half Rhys Downes, hooker Rhys Williams and lock McCauley Cook are all selected for Wales under 20s against England.
With the Ponty squad stretched in many departments, there is a welcome return to club duties for hooker Huw Dowden and lock Chris Dicomidis who both recently featured for the Blues, whilst newly signed prop Ken Knaggs and flanker Matthew Rees, on permit from Merthyr, both take a place on the bench. Matthew Hutchings is given a start at number 10 as the only change in the back line.
Pontypridd 15.Matthew Nuthall. 14.Chris Clayton. 13.Gavin Dacey. 12.Adam Thomas. 11.Lewis Williams. 10.Matthew Hutchings. 9.Kristian Baller; 1.Lewis Smout. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Ryan Savage. 5.Chris Dicomidis. 6.Rhys Lloyd. 7.Darren Waters. 8.Nathan Strong - cpt.
Replacements: Gavin Morris; Dean Gunter; Gary Williams; Tom Hetherington; Matthew Rees; Chris Martenko; Ken Knaggs.