The Chiefs and the Crusaders have played each other twice already this year in Super Rugby and they have won one match each.
The Chiefs won the first match between the two on the 9th of March 24-19 and the Crusaders won the second match 21-28 on July the 6th.
Interestingly, both winners in the matches were the away teams on the day and the combined scores for the two matches is Chiefs 45 Crusaders 47.
The Chiefs have played the Crusaders 19 times since 1996 and their history does not make good reading if you are a Chiefs fan as they have won just 26% of their matches against the men from Christchurch.
With just five wins from nineteen matches the Chiefs have lost 74% of their matches against the Crusaders.
Prior to their victory in March the Chiefs had lost four matches consecutively to the Crusaders between 2009 and 2011.
Prior to that the Chiefs won two matches (at home and away) in 2007 and 2008 which ended an eight match losing streak for this year's New Zealand conference winners.
Across all venues the average score between the two teams is Chiefs 20 and Crusaders 29.
In Hamilton the Chiefs have played the Crusaders 10 times and they have won on just three occasions. That's means that have won just 30% of their matches at home to the Crusaders.
The average score when the two teams play in Hamilton is Chiefs 21 Crusaders 26.
The Chiefs have lost their last three matches at home to the Crusaders who were last defeated in Hamilton in 2008.
In the last five matches between the teams in Hamilton three of the results have been won by a seven point margin or less. The other two have been a 13 point margin (to the Chiefs) and a 17 point margin (to the Crusaders).
When playing on a Friday the Chiefs have played the Crusaders five times and won once and that result was in Hamilton.
History strongly suggests that the Crusaders will win this match but history does not take into account that the Crusaders had to play a match last week while the Chiefs had the week off and were able to spend almost two weeks analysing their opposition.
History also does not accurately reflect how much of an improved team the Chiefs are this season under new coach Dave Rennie and Assistant Wayne Smith.
This season against all opposition the Chiefs have won 75% of their matches overall and the same figure for matches played in Hamilton.
The Chiefs were arguably a stronger team earlier in the season as they have lost their last two matches in comparison to the Crusaders who have won their last three matches.
The Crusaders have a strong record in Super Rugby Semi-finals having play 13 and won 10. However all three of those losses were against the Bulls in South Africa and they have never lost a Semifinal in New Zealand and Australia.
The Chiefs have played in two Semi-finals - in 2004 when they lost to the Brumbies (17-32) and in 2009 (14-10 ) when they beat the Hurricanes so they have a 50% record having won one and lost one.
The Chiefs have made four changes to their team and brought the back line back to the way it was when they last played the Crusaders. Had Sonny Bill Williams have passed the ball down that back line at the death of the last match the Chiefs could have drawn the match two weeks ago which indicates how close the teams are.
The Crusaders have made one change to the team that played and beat the Bulls last week with ben Franks coming into the front row.
The Bookies have given the Chiefs a 5 point start for this match - with an offer of Bet 5 and Get 50 in Bets. This is a tough match to call and we are tempted to call a draw. However since we can't have a draw we are going to have to give it to the Crusaders due to their history. The Crusaders should win this by three (quite possibly by a Dan Carter drop goal).
This match will be shown on TV NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 2/HD.
Average score: 20-29
Last five results
06 Jul 2012 Chiefs v Crusaders 21-28 Hamilton
09 Mar 2012 Chiefs v Crusaders 24-19 Napier
21 May 2011 Chiefs v Crusaders 19-25 Napier
15 Apr 2011 Chiefs v Crusaders 16-34 Tauranga
12 Mar 2010 Chiefs v Crusaders 19-26 Hamilton
Chiefs overall record against the Crusaders
Played 19, Wins 5 , Losses 14 , Draws 0
Match No.123: Chiefs v Crusaders
Date : Friday, 27 July, 2012
Venue : Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand
Kick Off local: (1935 local, 1935 NZT, 1735 NSW/ACT, 0935 SAT, 0735 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant Ref 1:Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant Ref 2:Keith Brown
TMO : Garratt Williamson
1. Sona Taumalolo , 2. Mahonri Schwalger , 3. Ben Tameifuna , 4. Craig Clarke (c) , 5. Brodie Retallick , 6. Liam Messam , 7. Tanerau Latimer , 8. Kane Thompson , 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10. Aaron Cruden , 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma , 12. Sonny Bill Williams , 13. Andrew Horrell , 14. Tim Nanai-Williams , 15. Robbie Robinson.
Replacements : 16. Hika Elliot , 17. Ben Afeaki , 18. Michael Fitzgerald , 19. Sam Cane , 20. Brendon Leonard , 21. Jackson Willison , 22. Lelia Masaga
1. Wyatt Crockett , 2. Corey Flynn , 3. Ben Franks , 4. Luke Romano , 5. Samuel Whitelock , 6. George Whitelock , 7. Matt Todd , 8. Richie McCaw (c) , 9. Andy Ellis , 10. Dan Carter (vc) , 11. Zac Guildford , 12. Ryan Crotty , 13. Robbie Fruean , 14. Adam Whitelock , 15. Israel Dagg
Reserves : 16. Quentin MacDonald, 17. Owen Franks,18. Tom Donnelly ,19. Luke Whitelock ,20. Willi Heinz,21. Tom Taylor ,22. Sean Maitland