Wasps boss Dai Young said “every game is a big game for us” as his team look to recover from a poor start to their Gallagher Premiership campaign.
Young’s side lie 10th in the league table following the weekend’s 28-22 defeat to Harlequins, with a victory over Bath on November 2 being their solitary Premiership success so far this season.
Wasps have also lost three out of four pool matches in the European Challenge Cup, and they now face a Bristol team needing victory to go top above current Premiership leaders Exeter.
“Every game is a big game for us,” Wasps rugby director Young said. “It’s all about getting as many points as possible.
“Bristol have been going well and we know what quality they’ve got, but we went there last year and got the result, so we know we can do it.
“There is a lot of disappointment after the weekend.
“We need to take some real intent into this game, and if we play as well as we can, we will come away with the result.
“Every point is hugely important. You’ve got to try and come away with at least something from every away game, but we are going there to win.
“We’ve got to iron out the things that didn’t go so well last weekend and just keep working at them.
“We’ve got to keep working hard to turn things around.”
— Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) December 26, 2019
Young makes a solitary change for the trip to Ashton Gate, with number eight Nizaam Carr handed a start alongside back-row colleagues Jack Willis and Thomas Young.
Lock Thibaud Flament, meanwhile, has recovered from concussion and is among Wasps’ replacements.
Former England lock Dave Attwood returns for Bristol as one of two changes from the side beaten by Saracens last weekend.
Attwood partners Chris Vui in the second-row, while rugby director Pat Lam’s other switch is at centre, where Alapati Leiua gains a recall alongside Piers O’Conor in midfield.
Bristol are unbeaten at home in the Premiership this season, although Wasps have gone nine league games without defeat against Friday’s opponents.
🎥 "This is all about, not only being a really good rugby team, but being good people, good fathers, good partners and good husbands, so I always like this time of the year."
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) December 24, 2019
A crowd of more than 20,000 is expected, with Bristol moving from third to first if they win.
“It’s a massive crowd on Friday and an occasion that we are really looking forward to,” Lam said.
“We know that there are Bristolians from all over the world coming home for the festive period, and we would love to gift them a performance to celebrate.
“Five points are on offer, and that has been the focus in what has been a short week.
“After last week’s disappointment, our best reaction will be what we do on the field.”