The Lions will host the Stormers on Saturday in what will be their first home Super Rugby match in a year and a half with the odds stacked against them.
The Lions might have the advantage of having played a Super Rugby match already this season but they are up against a team that they have a poor record against.
Last week the Lions pulled off a shock opening victory when they beat the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein but the Cheetahs poor discipline allowed the Lions to stay in the match. This week will almost certainly be different.
The Lions have played the Stormers 17 times since 1998 and the Lions have won just four of those matches. This gives the Lions a record of winning 24% of their matches against the Stormers.
The average score when the Lions play the Stormers across all venues is Lions 20 Stormers 26.
This week the match will be played in Johannesburg where the teams have met nine times. In those nine matches the Lions have won just two matches and lost seven. This gives the Lions a home record against the Stormers of winning 22% of their matches.
In Johannesburg the average score when these teams meet the average score is Lions 21 Stormers 24.
In all matches the last time the Lions last beat the Stormers was way back in 2001. The Lions won their first four matches against the Stormers but since then they have lost 13 consecutive matches. That includes 7 straight losses at home.
Lions coach Johan Ackermann, has kept the faith in the team that returned victorious from Bloemfontein. Apart from injury-enforced changes in the backline - Lionel Mapoe is out with Alwyn Hollenbach starting at inside centre and Stefan Watermeyer moving to the No 13 jersey - the rest of the team is unchanged.
The Stormers will travel to Johannesburg with a new-look backline after they lost a number of experienced players to European clubs and injury in the last few months. Kobus van Wyk and Michael van der Spuy will earn their first Super Rugby caps, while Damian de Allende has shifted to wing.
The Capetonians look strong upfront though, with only Argentinean lock Manuel Carizza new to rugby at this level. Their pack is settled and experienced, which is probably where the Stormers will be looking to gain the ascendancy.
But Stormers Allister Coetzee says his team will not underestimate the Lions at Ellis Park.
"The Lions showed over the weekend that in Super Rugby any team can beat any (other) team," said Coetzee.
"They were great at the breakdowns and their coach has an attacking mindset, which worked wonders for the team in last season's Absa Currie Cup competition.
"We also won't lose sight of the fact that the match will be on the Highveld and the Lions have a reputation for pulling out all the stops in the final 20 minutes."
The Bookies have given the Lions a 10 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. A second victory for the Lions this week looks highly improbable given their record against the Stormers over the last 13 years. We think the Stormers should win by 8 points.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports HD.
Average score: Lions 20 Stormers 26
Last five results
30 Jun 2012 Lions v Stormers 17-27 Cape Town
24 Mar 2012 Lions v Stormers 19-24 Johannesburg
16 Apr 2011 Lions v Stormers 19-33 Johannesburg
26 Feb 2011 Lions v Stormers 16-19 Cape Town
13 Feb 2010 Lions v Stormers 13-26 Johannesburg
Lions overall record against the Stormers
Played 17 ,Wins 4,Losses 13,Draws 0
Match No. 8: Golden Lions vs Stormers
Date :22 February 2014
Venue : Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick Off local: 19.10
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Ref 1:Jason Jaftha/TBC (South Africa),
Assistant Ref 2:Cobus Wessels (South Africa)
TMO:Johan Greeff (South Africa) with Pieter de Bruin (South Africa) in training
15. Chrysander Botha , 14. Deon van Rensburg , 13. Stefan Watermeyer , 12. Alwyn Hollenbach , 11. Ruan Combrinck , 10. Marnitz Boshoff , 9. Faf de Klerk , 8. Warren Whiteley (c) , 7. Derick Minnie , 6. Jaco Kriel , 5. Franco van der Merwe , 4. Franco Mostert , 3. Julian Redelinghuys , 2. Robbie Coetzee , 1. Schalk van der Merwe
Replacments : 16. Willie Wepener , 17. Jacques van Rooyen , 18. Ruan Dreyer , 19. MB Lusaseni , 20. Warwick Tecklenburg , 21. Ross Cronje , 22. JW Jonker , 23. Coenie van Wyk
15. Gio Aplon, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Michael van der Spuy, 12. Jean de Villiers (c), 11. Damian de Allende, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Schalk Burger (vc), 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Manuel Carizza, 4. Rynhardt Elstadt, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Replacements:, 16. Deon Fourie, 17. Oliver Kebble, 18. Pat Cilliers, 19. Michael Rhodes, 20. Nizaam Carr, 21. Nic Groom, 22. Kurt Coleman, 23. Ryno Eksteen