The Cheetahs had the worst start to the Currie Cup with two losses against the Blue Bulls and WP and have to face the Sharks this weekend in Bloemfontein.
No PRO14 players available as they start their PRO14 against Munster this weekend as well so it may be a long afternoon for Free State against a Sharks team that looks like championship contenders.
The Sharks have a few Boks in their team which will not make it easier for the Cheetahs.
Rudy Paige will lead a youthful side into action, and while the Cheetahs do have home-ground advantage in their favour, they will be up against the odds as they get set to face a powerful Sharks side.
Several players such as Dan du Preez, Curwin Bosch and Rob du Preez have been on the fringes of the Bok squad, and they will be hoping to inspire the Sharks to another bonus-point win after a strong start to the Currie Cup last weekend.
The Cheetahs have suffered two defeats at the start of the tournament, and could well be set to face another heavy loss that would leave them rooted to the bottom of the table.
Prediction: Sharks by 20
Free State Cheetahs – 15 Adriaan Carelse, 14 Ali Mgijima, 13 Carel-Jan Coetzee, 12 Tersius Kruger, 11 Lloyd Greeff, 10 Louis Fouce, 9 Rudy Paige (c), 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Gerhard Olivier, 6 Stephan Malan, 5 Dennis Visser, 4 Louis Conradie, 3 Gunther Janse van Vuuren, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Kevin Steven.
Subs: 16 Jannes Snyman, 17 Johan Kotze, 18 Luigi van Jaarsveld, 19 Abongile Nonkontwana, 20 Dian Badenhorst, 21 Vuyani Maqina, 22 Reinhart Erwee.
Sharks – 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Wian Vosloo, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (c), 1 Juan Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Khutha Mchunu, 18 Andrew Evans, 19 Luke Stringer, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Johan Deysel, 22 Aphelele Fassi.