Out of the last six Super Rugby matches between the Reds and the Sharks, the Sharks have won five and the Reds have won one.
The last two matches between the Reds and the Sharks have both been played in Brisbane as the Sharks missed the Reds in 2011 due to the new draw and rotation.
At the time of writing the Reds had not yet finalised their team but they had finally settled on not appealing against Quade Cooper's one match ban.
The Reds are now expected to name Ben Lucas as Cooper's replacement for this week. What must not be forgotten is that the Reds played for almost two thirds of the season without Cooper.
When the Reds played the Chiefs at Suncorp Ben Lucas was running the backline and they beat the Chiefs 42-27.
The Reds really only struggled this season for three matches and that was when they did not have Lucas, Mike Harris and rookie Sam Lane.
Ironically that three match rut started against the Sharks shortly after the Reds were leading 0-17 in Durban.
That spell of matches taught the Reds how to cope without Cooper and the Chiefs result proved it.
The Reds are currently the form team in Super Rugby as they are the only team to be on a seven match losing streak. The next closest is the Stormers on a four match streak.
The Reds have played the Sharks 16 times since 1996 and the Reds have won 56 % of their matches as they have won 9 and lost 7.
In 1996 in the first Super Rugby season the Sharks beat the Reds 25-43 in a Semi-final.
The average score when the Reds play the Sharks is Reds 23 and the Sharks 24.
In Brisbane where the Reds have won 20 out of their last 22 matches the Queenslanders have played the Sharks 8 times and the Reds have won 75% of their matches or 6 wins and 2 losses.
The one Sharks victory however was a hammering. The Sharks beat the Reds 16-59 in 2007 and they have only visited once since them and that was in 2009.
On average when the Reds play the Sharks in Brisbane they score 27 points and the Sharks score 25 points.
The Sharks were given a boost by the return of Willem Alberts in the forwards but they suffered a triple blow with the loss of Patrick Lambie, Frans Steyn and Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit.
The Bookies have given the Sharks a 6 point start for this match - with an offer of Bet 5 and Get 50 in Bets. Home advantage is massive in these matches and the Reds are very difficult to beat in Brisbane. The Reds should sneak this by 2 points.
This match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 2/ HD.
Average score: Reds 23 Sharks 24
Last five results
17 Mar 2012 Reds v Sharks 22-27 Durban
03 Apr 2010 Reds v Sharks 28-30 Durban
14 Mar 2009 Reds v Sharks 25-13 Brisbane
29 Mar 2008 Reds v Sharks 10-22 Durban
07 Apr 2007 Reds v Sharks 16-59 Brisbane
Reds overall record against the Sharks
Played 14, Wins 8, Losses 6 , Draws 0
Match No.121:Reds versus Sharks
Date Saturday 21 July, 2012
Venue : Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia
Kick Off local: (1940 local, 2140 NZT, 1940 NSW/ACT, 1140SAT, 0940 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant Ref 1:Craig Joubert
Assistant Ref 2: James Leckie
TMO : Matt Goddard
1. Greg Holmes, 2. Saia Faingaa, 3. James Slipper, 4. Rob Simmons, 5. Adam Wallace-Harrison (vc), 6. Jake Schatz, 7. Liam Gill, 8. Scott Higginbotham, 9. Will Genia (c), 10. Ben Lucas, 11. Digby Ioane, 12. Mike Harris, 13. Anthony Faingaa, 14. Dom Shipperley, 15. Luke Morahan.
Replacements: 16. James Hanson, 17. Ben Daley, 18. Radike Samo, 19. Beau Robinson, 20. Jarrad Butler, 21. Nick Frisby, 22. Ben Tapuai.
1. Tendai Mtawarira , 2. Bismarck du Plessis , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 4. Willem Alberts , 5. Anton Bresler , 6. Keegan Daniel (Captain) , 7. Marcell Coetzee , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 9. Charl McLeod , 10. Frederic Michalak , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 12. Tim Whitehead , 13. Paul Jordaan , 14. JP Pietersen , 15. Louis Ludik
Replacements , 16. Craig Burden , 17. Wiehahn Herbst , 18. Steven Sykes , 19. Jacques Botes , 20. Cobus Reinach , 21. Meyer Bosman , 22. Odwa Ndungane