**Christmas is now almost upon us, and besides the presents, the food, and time spent with loved ones, a thrilling feast of Guinness PRO14 derby action is sure to provide plenty of festive cheer this year.** \n\nAmidst a plethora of mouth-watering match-ups, Ulster’s trip to bitter rivals and triple-defending champions Leinster early in the New Year – a repeat of last season’s Championship final – is surely one to keep a close eye on.\n\nThe pair haven’t met since Leo Cullen’s charges prevailed 27-5 at the Aviva Stadium in September to lift their seventh Guinness PRO14 trophy, and both teams have demonstrated their title ambitions so far in the current campaign. \n\nAhead of Round 9, Ulster – the last team to defeat Leinster in the Championship in April 2019 – currently lead the way in Conference A, having won all eight of their contests so far to sit with 38 points.\n\nHaving lost their last three encounters with Leinster, Dan McFarland’s men will be itching for a result to keep the heat on the Dubliners, who have amassed maximum points from their seven encounters to date. \n\nThere’s plenty to sort on the pitch before they next meet on January 8 but the stakes will undoubtedly be high at the RDS Arena. \n\nAnd fans will be hoping two of the Championship’s biggest heavyweights can rise to the occasion as they did 12 months ago, with last December's 14-try thriller the latest entry in our 12 Days of Derbies countdown. \n\nHaving been pushed all the way by Ulster in a true Christmas cracker, Leinster once again outlined their Championship credentials by extending their unbeaten start to the 2019/20 season with victory.