Edinburgh could well be breathing a sigh of relief at the return of the Rabo Direct PRO12 this week after two torrid weeks in European competition. But staring in the face of a possible sixth consecutive defeat in all competitions, they would not have wanted their opponents to be the second placed team in the league, the Scarlets.
The Scarlets approach this match on the back of two losses themselves, yet in a much more positive position then Edinburgh. With twelve of their squad, and mostly first team starters, newly announced in the Wales training squad, they will be hoping to use as many of them as possible before facing their next four league games without them.
Edinburgh are a team low on confidence yet they still have the danger men, like Tim Visser, that can cause problems, although the injury to Laidlaw is proving costly to them. They will have to aim to frustrate the Scarlets as if they concede an early score then they could be in for a long evening.
The Scarlets, on form, should win this one regardless of it being an away match. Yet time and again we see the Scarlets side falter when they are labelled as favourites, so Easterby’s men will be looking to add a tougher edge to their game in order to gain victory.
The absence of John Davies, and his replacement Gareth Maule is a blow to them, yet it provides a chance for Llanelli RFC star Reynolds to show what he can do at this level. With injuries and the need to rest players affecting them, the Scarlets are not sending their strongest side, yet their front row and half back pairing look to have the edge on their apponents.
Edinburgh look strong in their 2nd and back row, with Denton and Rennie being stand out figures that can trouble the Scarlets. They will also look to target the new Scarlets 2nd row pairing of Timani and Vallejos, the latter of who is getting his first start in a Scarlets shirt.
Edinburgh are going to have to chuck everything they have at this game to get their season back on track, so the Scarlets can expect an incredible battle. Get an early lead and the west Wales side should go on to win it well, if Edinburgh are still in it at half time, they could very well go against the form book and push on for a much needed win.
Referee: Marius Mitrea
Edinburgh: Greig Tonks; Lee Jones, Matt Scott, Nick De Luca, Tim Visser; Harry Leonard, Chris Leck; John Yapp, Andy Titterrell, Willem Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Sean Cox (capt), David Denton, Ross Rennie, Stuart McInally
Replacements: Ross Ford, Robin Hislop, Alex Allan, Robert McAlpine, Roddy Grant, Richie Rees, John Houston, Tom Brown
Scarlets: Liam Williams; George North, Nick Reynolds, Scott Williams, Morgan Stoddart; Aled Thomas, Gareth Davies; Phil John, Matthew Rees, Samson Lee, Sione Timani, Tomas Vallejos, Aaron Shingler, Rob McCuskser (capt), Johnathan Edwards.
Replacements: Ken Owens, Shaun Hopkins, Deacon Manu, Richard Kelly, Kieran Murphy, Aled Davies, Rhys Priestland, Gareth Owen.