Glasgow Warriors meet with Scarlets in the European Champions Cup on Saturday: 13:00 kick-off
The Warriors stick with the same starting line-up from last weekend’s postponed league clash with Leinster
Pro12 leaders Scarlets are missing several key men through injury
Hooker James Malcolm makes a delayed first start for Glasgow Warriors in Saturday’s must-win Champions Cup clash against the Scarlets as both sides look for a first win in the competition this season.
The hosts stick with the starting line-up from last weekend’s postponed league clash with Leinster a week ago as they look to bounce back from their defeat to Northampton in their delayed opener three weeks ago.
“We know it’s really important because if we do lose then it’s advantage to Racing and Northampton in the Pool,” said Warriors head coach Townsend, who signed a contract extension on Thursday.
“We’ve only played one game and we need to make sure we’re still in this competition after these two games. We’ve still got five games to go, and I think for a team to qualify they need to win four out of six.
“They would be very lucky to get through with only three out of six. We know what’s up against us and we need to rise to the challenge.”
Meanwhile, Scarlets may be leading the Pro12 but they know just how difficult it is going to be to break their duck in the Champions Cup this season at the home of the reigning PRO12 champions.
They Welsh region are missing several key men through injury, including former Glasgow stars John Barclay and Canadian wing-wizard DTH van der Merwe. However, there is some good news for the visitors as Wales international prop Rhodri Jones makes his first start of the season for the Welsh region.
These two sides have played each other four times in the competition with the Scarlets victorious one each occasion and winning by an average margin of 19 points
The Warriors suffered defeats in their last two Champions Cup matches and will be trying to avoid a third straight loss
Scarlets have scored just 26 points in their last three fixtures combined and are winless in their last four Champions Cup encounters
The Welsh region have lost just once in their last 10 matches against Scottish opposition in the Champions Cup
These teams have the lowest kick success in the Champions Cup so far, with Scarlets succeeding with a paltry 38% of their kicks at goal and Glasgow 40 percent
BETTING ODDS (via SKY BET)
Glasgow 1/14, Draw 40/1, Scarlets 8/1
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Glasgow: Stuart Hogg
Hogg has impressed enough all-around to catapult himself to being one of the stars of Northern Hemisphere rugby. The vibrant fullback, alongside other Scotland stars Jonny Gray and Finn Russell, have continued to develop and improve so far this season for the Warriors and he is certainly a player to keep an eye on.
Scarlets: Gareth Davies
Gareth Davies will be the firm favourite to wear the No. 9 jersey when Wales run out at the Aviva Stadium in February. The playmaker as one of the stars of Wales’s World Cup campaign this autumn, scoring five tries and playing every minute until the heartbreaking finale against the Springboks.
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 James Malcolm, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Robert Harley, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Finn Russell, 23 Sean Lamont.
Scarlets: 15 Steff Evans, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Regan King, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Michael Tagicakibau, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Morgan Allen, 7 Tom Phillips, 6 Lewis Rawlins, 5 Tom Price, 4 George Earle, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Maselino Paulino, 20 Jack Condy, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Mike Collins.
Date: Saturday, December 12
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
Kick-off: 13:00 GMT
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant Referees: Sébastien Minery (France), Thomas Déjean (France)
TMO: Vincent Azoulay (France)