The Rebels have had very mixed form this season as they comfortably beat the Cheetahs in their opening match and were then humbled by the Western Force last week.
The Crusaders have not had a particularly positive start to the 2014 season either as they lost their first two matches and then snatched a late one point victory over the Stormers last weekend.
The Rebels and Crusaders have only met twice in Super Rugby since the Rebels joined the tournament in 2011.
Due the way the draw is structured the Rebels and Crusaders didn't play each other in 2011 so their first meeting was in 2012 in Melbourne.
They have both played one match at home and a match away and both teams won their home matches.
This gives the Rebels a record of winning 50% of their matches against the Crusaders overall and they are unbeaten at home by the Crusaders.
The average score when the Rebels play the Crusaders is Rebels 27 Crusaders 25 and in Melbourne it is Rebels 28 Crusaders 19 as they have only played one match in the city.
This week the Crusaders have reinstated Israel Dagg at fullback and pushed Colin Slade into the number 10 jersey. This change means that Tom Taylor has been moved to centre and wears the number 12 jersey.
An interesting selection on the replacements bench for the Crusaders is Nemani Nadolo who has a reputation for powerful and pacey runs so is one to watch out for.
The Rebels have made several changes for this match and named a team that is closer to the one that beat the Cheetahs in the opening round.
Tom English, Toby Smith, Laurie Weeks and Scott Fuglistaller all return to the side as do Luke Jones and Bryce Hegarty.
Even though there have been sweeping changes the Rebels loss last week will most likely have given their confidence a knock. In contrast the Crusaders come from behind victory over the Stormers will have given their confidence a boost.
The Bookies have given the Rebels a 7 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. We think the Rebels will put up a good fight but ultimately the Crusaders should win this one by 8.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 4/HD.
Average score: Rebels 27 Crusaders 25
Last two results
28 Apr 2013 Rebels v Crusaders 26-30 Christchurch
12 May 2012 Rebels v Crusaders 28-19 Melbourne
Rebels overall record against the Crusaders
Played 2 ,Wins1 ,Losses 1 ,Draws 0
Match No.24 :Rebels v Crusaders
Date : Friday 14 March
Venue : AAMI Park
Kick Off local: 19:40
Referee: James Leckie
Assistant Ref 1:Andrew Lees
Assistant Ref 2:Ian Smith
TMO : George Ayoub
1. Toby Smith,2. Pat Leafa,3. Laurie Weeks,4. Hugh Pyle,5. Luke Jones,6. Sean McMahon,7. Scott Fuglistaller,8. Scott Higginbotham (C),9. Luke Burgess,10. Bryce Hegarty,11. Tom English,12. Mitch Inman,13. Tamati Ellison,14. Lachlan Mitchell,15. Jason Woodward
Replacemets : 16. Shota Horie,17. Max Lahiff,18. Paul Alo-Emile,19. Cadeyrn Neville,20. Colby Fainga'a,21. Ben Meehan,22. Angus Roberts,23. Telusa Veainu
1. Wyatt Crockett , 2. Ben Funnell , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Luke Romano , 5. Samuel Whitelock , 6. Luke Whitelock , 7. Matt Todd , 8. Kieran Read (c) , 9. Andy Ellis , 10. Colin Slade , 11. Johnny McNicholl , 12. Tom Taylor , 13. Ryan Crotty (vc) , 14. Nafi Tuitavake , 15. Israel Dagg
Replacments : 16. Codie Taylor , 17. Tim Perry , 18. Nepo Laulala , 19. Dominic Bird , 20. Jordan Taufua , 21. Mitchell Drummond , 22. Kieron Fonotia , 23. Nemani Nadolo