Last week the Reds were well beaten by the Waratahs in Sydney and as they are at home this week for the first time this year they can be expected to perform significantly better.
The Cheetahs also lost last week as they fell to the Rebels who performed better than expected and even scored a try at the end of the match that was not needed for the victory and they already had the bonus point. This is a new edge for the Rebels.
Last week's Cheetahs loss to the Rebels also cost them one of the Springboks as Coenie Oosthuizen has been ruled out for eight weeks and possibly the tournament which is a blow to their scrum and their breakdown battle.
The Reds and the Cheetahs have played each other just seven times since 2006 when the Cheetahs joined Super Rugby through the Super 14.
In those 7 matches the Reds have won four times and lost three times. That gives the Reds a record of winning 57% of their matches against the Cheetahs.
The average score when the Reds play the Cheetahs across all venues is : Reds 21 Cheetahs 14
The Reds will have home advantage this weekend as the match is in Brisbane where the teams have played each other three times.
In those three matches the Reds have finished as the winners in all three matches. The Cheetahs have therefore yet to win a match in Brisbane.
The average score when the Reds play the Cheetahs is : Reds 9 Cheetahs 8.
Interestingly the Cheetahs have won both of their second matches on tour in the last two years - against the Rebels in Melbourne (2012) and the Highlanders in Dunedin (2013).
In terms of selections after last week's loss to the Waratahs the Reds have made five changes to the team. Four Reds players will be making their first starts this season. The selections are more rotations than players being dropped from the team.
Winger Rod Davies returns for his first Reds match since July 2013 after recovering from a knee reconstruction and replaces Lachie Turner who has a knee injury.
The Reds have also brought back Mike Harris at inside centre for Anthony Fainga'a at inside centre and will be joined by Chris Feauai-Sautia at outside centre for his first start of the year. Both Fainga'a and Ben Tapuai have been moved to the reserves.
James Hanson will make his first start of the year, replacing Saia Fainga'a in the starting lineup. Prop Ben Daley also comes into the starting side for the first time, taking over from James Slipper at loosehead. Both Fainga'a and Slipper suffered corks on the weekend and have been moved to the reserves.
The Cheetahs have also made some injury enforced changes as Maks van Dyk comes into the Cheetahs starting line up to replace the injured Oosthuizen.
Cheetahs winger Raymond Rhule has not recovered from an ankle injury in time to play this week so Willie le Roux shifts from fullback to wing as cover.
Hennie Daniller comes in to replace Le Roux at fullback while Rayno Benjamin replaces Cornal Hendricks on the right wing.
The Bookies have given the Cheetahs a 9 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. It is difficult ot overlook the Cheetahs record in Brisbane so we are backing the Reds on this one. Not only do they lose in Brisbane but the losses have been fairly big ones. The Reds should win by 7.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 2/HD.
Average score: Reds 21 Cheetahs 14
Last five results
Played 7 Wins 4 Losses 3 Draws 0
Reds overall record against the Cheetahs
17 May 2013 Reds v Cheetahs 13-27 Bloemfontein
26 Mar 2011 Reds v Cheetahs 41-8 Brisbane
26 Mar 2010 Reds v Cheetahs 31-10 Bloemfontein
01 Mar 2009 Reds v Cheetahs 22-3 Brisbane
05 Apr 2008 Reds v Cheetahs 14-29 Bloemfontein
Match No. 18: Reds vs Cheetahs
Date :Friday 7 March
Venue : Suncorp Stadium
Kick Off local: 18:40
Referee: Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 1: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2: Matt O'Brien
TMO: Steve Leszczynski
1. Ben Daley , 2. James Hanson , 3. Greg Holmes , 4. Rob Simmons , 5. James Horwill (C) , 6. Eddie Quirk , 7. Liam Gill , 8. Jake Schatz , 9. Will Genia (VC) , 10. Quade Cooper , 11. Dom Shipperley , 12. Mike Harris , 13. Chris Feauai-Sautia , 14. Rod Davies , 15. Aidan Toua
Replacements : 16. Saia Fainga'a , 17. James Slipper , 18. Jono Owen , 19. Ed O'Donoghue , 20. Beau Robinson , 21. Nick Frisby , 22. Anthony Fainga'a , 23. Ben Tapuai
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements :16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Ligtoring Landman, 20 Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Cornal Hendricks