The Blues played the Reds twice last year and the Reds won both matches although it should be noted that both matches were played in Brisbane so the Reds had home advantage in both.
The last time these two teams met was in the Super Rugby Semi-final and Reds flying winger Rod Davies scored a hat-trick of tries as the Reds booked a home final.
The Blues and the Reds have played each other 17 times and even though the Reds had almost a decade of struggling the Blues have only managed to beat them 8 times. They have also lost 8 times and there was a draw way back in 1999.
On average the Blues score 27 points against the Reds who score 26 points against the Blues. However when the teams play each other in New Zealand things swing well in favour of the Blues.
In New Zealand the Blues have played the Reds seven times and have won 5 times, lost once and had that draw in 1999. That translates to a success rate of 71.4% against the Reds in New Zealand.
On average when these two teams meet the Blues score 35 points and the Reds score 22 points which is a 13 point difference compared to the one point difference across all venues.
The Reds don't appear to like playing the Blues in New Zealand much but they will have some confidence this time around as the last time they played at Eden Park was in 2009 and the Reds won 24-31 which was their one and only Auckland victory.
The Reds have a couple of their stars back for this match such as Digby Ioane, Ben Lucas and Mike Harris. For the Blues Rudi Wulf has overcomed a shoulder injury and slots in on the wing while former Red Daniel Braid starte at openside flanker.
In selection terms, this match will be particularly interesting due to the match up between Blues half back Piri Weepu and Will Genia. Neither player has been at the top of their game this season but the same could be said for both teams.
The Blues are currently on a five match losing streak and still only have one victory for the season. Both teams will be coming off a loss last week.
The Bookies have given the Reds a 6 point start for this match - with an offer of Bet 5 and Get 50 in Bets. The Blues are at home where they have a strong record against the Reds.. The Blues should win this by 4.
This match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on the Sky Sports website.
Average score: 27-26
Last five results
02 Jul 2011 Semi Blues v Reds 13-30 Brisbane
13 May 2011 Blues v Reds 31-37 Brisbane
27 Feb 2010 Blues v Reds 27-18 Brisbane
25 Apr 2009 Blues v Reds 24-31 North Harbour
02 May 2008 Blues v Reds 35-22 Brisbane
Blues overall record against the Reds
Played 17 , Wins 8, Losses 8, Draws 1
Match No .61: Blues v Reds
Date Friday 27 April
Venue : Auckland
Kick Off local: 19:35
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant Ref 1Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant Ref 2::Glen Jackson
TMO: Ben Skeen
Hadleigh Parkes, George Moala, Rene Ranger, Ma'a Nonu, Rudi Wulf, Gareth Anscombe, Piri Weepu, Peter Saili, Luke Braid (capt), Daniel Braid , Filo Paulo, Ali Williams, Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney, Tevita Mailau.
Reserves: James Parsons, Pauliasi Manu/Angus Ta'avao, Liaki Moli, Chris Lowrey, Alby Mathewson, Michael Hobbs, Benson Stanley.
1. Ben Daley, 2. James Hanson, 3. James Slipper, 4. Rob Simmons, 5. James Horwill (c), 6. Beau Robinson, 7. Liam Gill, 8. Scott Higginbotham, 9. Will Genia (vc), 10. Ben Lucas, 11. Rod Davies, 12. Mike Harris, 13. Digby Ioane, 14. Dom Shipperley, 15. Luke Morahan.
Replacements: 16. Albert Anae, 17. Greg Holmes, 18. Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19. Jake Schatz, 20. Eddie Quirk, 21. Nick Frisby, 22. Anthony Faingaa