They may be separated by five places in the RaboDirect PRO12 league table but there’ll be very little to choose between Munster and Ulster at the end of 80 minutes tonight in Ravenhill.
Five places maybe, and 12 points divide third from eight and Ulster have carefully selected this week to ensure they give themselves the best possible chance to reduce that deficit and propel themselves back into top four contention.
They'll suffer the loss of the losing bonus in Dublin, that seemed well within their compass when James McKinney converted Chris Cochrane's 47th minute try, but will be a tad harder on themselves if they don't garner at least four from the game tonight. And they've selected accordingly.
McKinney and Cochrane will be spectators tonight, their next outing probably in the B&I quarter final against Munster.
Otherwise it's as you'd expect, Ulster as strong as they can be. A sold-out Ravenhill on the eve of New Year's Eve. Mighty.
As for Munster ? Well, they'll be led by Mick O'Driscoll winning his 195th Munster cap alongside, in the second row, Ian Nagle, with just 180 caps less who put in a full shift here last year.
Behind them there's Dave O'Callaghan back in the side after injury having debuted against Ospreys in early October with Luke O'Dea in for his third start and John Ryan and Paddy Butler on the bench.
It's a game Ulster cannot afford to lose and they know that. It's a game Munster can afford to have a go.
Munster: D Hurley; L O'Dea, T Gleeson, L Mafi, J Murphy; I Keatley, D Williams; W du Preez, D Varley, S Archer; I Nagle, M O'Driscoll capt; Dave O'Callaghan, T O'Donnell, J Coughlan. Replacements: D Fogarty, M Horan, J Ryan, B Holland, P Butler, T O'Leary, S Deasy, W Chambers.
Ulster: A D'Arcy; C Gilroy, D Cave, I Whitten, S Terblanche; I Humphreys, R Pienaar; P McAllister, A Kyriacou, J Afoa; J Muller capt., D Tuohy; P Wannenburg, W Faloon, C Henry. Replacements: N Brady, C Black, A Macklin, L Stevenson, A Birch, P Marshall, C Farrell, P Nelson
Referee: Alain Rolland.