With Tom James and Blaine Scully both unavailable for selection, Rhun Williams has made a timely return to fitness to start on the left wing. In the pack, Taufa’ao Filise steps up from the replacements bench at tight-head prop.
The Blues slipped to a 26-15 defeat in the corresponding fixture at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park in October, but won at Parc y Scarlets last season and go into the Big Weekend encounter on the back of a Welsh derby victory over Newport Gwent Dragons.
Head coach Wilson believes his side can go into the clash with confidence but he knows the in-form Scarlets will present a tough assignment.
He said: “We won both Christmas derbies last season and it would be great to do it two years on the bounce.
“Parc y Scarlets is a very tough venue and they are a very tough side to play but we have come off the back of a win and a first-half performance which will give us a bit of confidence.
“Last season we had a good away win there but historically it is a tough place to go – the Scarlets have a passionate crowd and are a proud region.
“Derbies are about who wins the physical battle and last year we won that, and that led to a really big win for us. We will need to have that and more this time around.
“The Scarlets are in form at the moment, they’ve had a great run, including a big win against Toulon and have a squad full of quality so we will need to be right on top of our game to have a chance.”
While the Blues won on Boxing Day, the Scarlets saw a seven-match winning run in the PRO12 come to an end against the Ospreys a day later.
Wilson added: “Their results speak for themselves. They didn’t start particularly well but have picked up some really good form and some great wins.
“They will be hurting from losing a derby and will want to put that right against us. But we picked up a win and want to build on a good first-half performance and there’s no better place to do it than Parc y Scarlets.”
Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Rhun Williams; Steve Shingler, Lloyd Williams; Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey, Taufa’ao Filise, Macauley Cook, James Down, Josh Navidi, Sam Warburton (capt), Nick Williams
Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Scott Andrews, Jarrad Hoeata, Ellis Jenkins, Tomos Williams, Nicky Robinson, Cory Allen.
The following players were unavailable for selection: