Chris Henry has been named as captain for the second of Ulster's back-to-back Heineken Cup Pool 4 clashes with Northampton.
Ulster have made just one personnel change and one positional switch from the side that beat the Saints 6-25 at Franklin's Gardens last Friday.
Regular skipper Johann Muller is sidelined with a displaced fracture in his arm so 20-year-old Iain Henderson has moved into the second-row alongside Dan Tuohy. Nick Williams has been promoted from the bench to fill the vacant loose forward spot.
Andrew Trimble will make his 50th Heineken Cup appearance in Saturday's encounter, following in the footsteps of Paddy Wallace and Tommy Bowe, who done so in round 2 and 3 of the competition respectively.
There is only one change on the bench which sees Neil McComb replace Williams. Ricky Lutton will make his European debut if he takes to the field at any time during Friday's game. The 26-year-old development prop has made one previous appearance - as a substitute in the RaboDirect PRO12 win over Edinburgh last month.
Meanwhile, Northampton make six changes to their starting XV, with Lee Dickson and Stephen Myler coming in at half-back. Tom May also starts at inside centre replacing Dom Waldouck.
Mikey Haywood replaces the suspended Dylan Hartley at hooker, with Paul Doran-Jones coming in at tighthead prop to replace Brian Mujati who is on the bench.
A reshuffle in the pack sees Calum Clark move into the second-row, with Tom Wood moving to blindside flanker and Phil Dowson coming in on the openside. Courtney Lawes is on the bench.
A third defeat in this season's competition would see Northampton knocked out, with Ulster looking for their 14th straight win of the season to help guarantee a home quarter-final.
Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Roger Wilson , 7 Chris Henry (c), 6 Nick Williams, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 John Afoa, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Callum Black, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Luke Marshall, 23 Craig Gilroy.
Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tom May, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Calum Clark, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Courtney Lawes, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Luther Burrell.
Date: Saturday, December 15
Kick-off: 18.00 GMT
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Jonathan Mason (Wales)
Television match official: Derek Bevan (Wales)