Ulster expect to have a couple of their big guns back in action on Saturday with Chris Henry and Rory Best set to take the field against Munster at the Kingspan Stadium (3.00pm).
It should also be a special occasion for winger Andrew Trimble who is set to become the first Ulster player to make 200 appearance for the province.
Flanker Henry has been out for two games due to a shoulder issue which saw the Ireland player not risked by Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss in the away wins against Toulouse and last weekend's success at Connacht.
Skipper Best was rested for last Saturday's derby clash with the Western province and will be back as Ulster bid to open the New Year with a fifth successive win to further boost their PRO12 campaign ahead of three consecutive games in Europe.
However, Saturday's interprovincial will still be too soon for injured backline trio Darren Cave (shoulder), Jared Payne (fractured foot sustained at the World Cup) and Stuart Olding (knee) though they are looking likely to return to action at some point in January's packed programme of games.
Munster, who defeated Ulster in October at Thomond Park, come to Belfast off the back of five straight defeats and are in dire need of a result while Ulster are currently the in-form Irish province. The sides played out a thrilling 23-23 draw last time they met at the Kingspan in May.
"I don't want us to take the confidence to a point where we expect it to happen," said Kiss of Ulster's current form.
"I've watched Munster too many times to know that they find a way out of these situations," said Kiss.
"They're in a corner and there's really nowhere else they can go. They need to get out of it but hopefully it's not against us."