The Bulls beat the Sharks earlier this year but last year in the corresponding fixture the Sharks ended the Bulls reign as Super Rugby champions after the 2010 victory.
The Sharks hopes of reaching the Super Rugby play offs this season could come to an early end if the Bulls win on Friday as they are currently in eighth place so a loss would allow the pack to move out of reach with only one round left after this one.
The Sharks have played the Bulls 17 times in Super Rugby and the Bulls have won 9 and the Sharks have won 7 times. The two teams have drawn once so the Sharks have effectively only won 41% of their matches against the Bulls.
Out of the last five matches between them the Sharks have won once. On average when the Sharks play the Bulls they score 21 points and the Bulls score 19 points.
The Sharks lost 18-13 to the Bulls earlier this season at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria but this weekend the match is at Kings Park in Durban.
The Sharks have played the Bulls 8 times in Durban and they have won just three times and the Bulls have won 5 times.
Interestingly the Bulls have won their last three matches in Durban and are thus undefeated by the Sharks since the 2007 Super 14 final.
At home in Durban the Sharks have won just 38% of their matches against the Bulls.
The Sharks had the bye last week so they can be expected to start slowly while the Bulls put in a strong 60 minute performance against the Cheetahs.
The Bulls have named an unchanged team for this week's clash in Durban while the Sharks have not been able to name a full strength team.
Springboks Willem Alberts and Patrick Lambie both failed fitness tests after suffering injuries playing for the Springboks. The loss of Alberts is a blow for the Sharks as his strong physical game would have been perfect to combat the Bulls style of game.
The loss of Lambie is also a big blow for the Sharks whether he would have been played at full back or flyhalf. The positive on the team sheet for the Sharks is the return of Frans Steyn from France.
The Bookies have given the Bulls a 2 point start for this match - with an offer of Bet 5 and Get 50 in Bets. The Sharks will be hungrier and more desperate but they will be lesser of a team due to the bye and the loss of Alberts and Lambie. The Bulls should win this by 3 points.
This match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 4/ HD.
Average score: Sharks 21 Bulls 19
Last five results
24 Feb 2012 Sharks v Bulls 13-18 4 Pretoria
18 Jun 2011 Sharks v Bulls 26-23 Pretoria
21 May 2011 Sharks v Bulls 23-32 Durban
01 May 2010 Sharks v Bulls 19-27 Pretoria
16 May 2009 Sharks v Bulls 26-27 Durban
Sharks overall record against the Bulls
Played 17, Wins 7 , Losses 9, Draws 1
Match No.113: Sharks v Bulls
Date Friday 6 July
Venue : Durban
Kick Off local: 19:10 local, 17:10 GMT, Sat 7 Jul 5:10 NZT, Sat 7 Jul 3:10, 19:10 SAT
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Marius Jonker
Assistant Ref 2:Tiaan Jonker
TMO : Shaun Veldsman
Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies (captain), Jacques Potgieter, Dewald Potgieter, Juandre Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling.
Replacements: Willie Wepener, Frik Kirsten, Wilhelm Steenkamp, CJ Stander, Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouche, Francois Venter.
1. Tendai Mtawarira , 2. Bismarck du Plessis , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 4. Anton Bresler , 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit , 6. Keegan Daniel (Captain) , 7. Marcell Coetzee , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 9. Charl McLeod , 10. Frederic Michalak , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 12. Francois Steyn , 13. Tim Whitehead , 14. JP Pietersen , 15. Louis Ludik
Replacements , 16. Craig Burden , 17. Wiehahn Herbst , 18. Jandre Marais , 19. Jean Deysel , 20. Cobus Reinach , 21. Meyer Bosman , 22. Odwa Ndungane