Inspirational Kiwi Xavier Rush will miss the derby clash against the Ospreys.
Cardiff Blues will be without talisman No 8 Xavier Rush for their New Year's Eve Magners League derby match against the Ospreys. (KO 2.05pm)
Maama Molitika fills in at No8, with Sam Warburton at openside and Andries Pretorius on the blindside. There's one change in the front row with Rhys Thomas taking the place of the injured Gareth Williams.
There is only one change in the backs with Jamie Roberts starting at centre in place of fellow Lion Tom Shanklin.
Speaking of the selection Blues head coach David Young said, "We looked at picking two teams over the festive period, as obviously we didn't have a massive turnaround, but we didn't make too many changes for the Ospreys match."
"Xavier Rush will miss the match due to a neck injury he has been struggling with for a few weeks, while Gareth Williams and Michael Paterson are also struggling with minor injuries."
The Ospreys equalled their highest ever Magners League total in their 60-17 humbling of Scarlets at Liberty Stadium on Monday and have won six of their last seven encounters in all competitions. Speaking of that result Young added, "The Ospreys have been threatening to put in that kind of performance for the last few weeks and their performance against the Scarlets was excellent."
"They will certainly come into this game with a lot of confidence but we need the win to get the points. We've got to make sure we are in the top four of the Magners League and then you are in one off games where anything can happen."
The Blues' only victory in their last seven matches in all competitions was 38-6 at home to Glasgow Warriors in the Magners League on 27 November but will be looking to put in a big display against their Welsh rivals in front of a record crowd.
Ospreys Forwards Coach, Jonathan Humphreys, said: "The game is a chance to build on the result against the Scarlets. We've been a little unfortunate in terms of the ability to train together on the field because of the weather since the players returned from international duty, so we've had to use game time as a vehicle to get this team back up to the level where we think they should be.
"I think the Blues will try to be physical against us, they will try to come at us up front, and they will come hard at us at the breakdown area. They've got a good squad full of quality players, and they will have had the benefit of not having played at the weekend meaning they have had longer time to prepare. It's up to us to make sure we are on top of our game.
"The scrum will be a key area, it's always an interesting battle and is very much about the referee's interpretation. Reputations and who feels they have the best scrum going into the game counts for nothing, it's quite easy to come undone in this area."
Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Casey Laulala 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Tom James 10 Dan Parks 9 Richie Rees 8 Maama Molitika 7 Sam Warburton 6 Andries Pretorius 5 Paul Tito (c) 4 Bradley Davies 3 Tafa'ao Filise 2 T Rhys Thomas 1 Gethin Jenkins
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams 17 John Yapp 18 Sam Hobbs 19 Deiniol Jones 20 Martyn Williams 21 Tom Slater 22 Ceri Sweeney 23 Leigh Halfpenny
Ospreys 15 Barry Davies 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Andrew Bishop 12 James Hook 11 Richard Fussell 10 Dan Biggar 9 Jamie Nutbrown; 1 Paul James 2 Richard Hibbard 3 Adam Jones 4 Ian Gough 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt) 6 Jerry Collins 7 Marty Holah 8 Jonathan Thomas
Replacements 16 Huw Bennett 17 Ryan Bevington 18 Craig Mitchell 19 Ian Evans 20 Ryan Jones 21 Mike Phillips 22 Sonny Parker 23 Nikki Walker
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