Wales' inclination to name the same team for the second match in succession as they look to break their record of four successive away victories in the Six Nations is being tested by the calf injury sustained by the prop Gethin Jenkins in Italy last month and the return to fitness of the second-row Alun Wyn Jones.
Wales, like their opponents Scotland, will announce their team on Tuesday. Paul James is likely to start in place of the 97-cap Jenkins, who has been plagued by calf strains in recent seasons, while Jones is in line to replace Andrew Coombs to add experience as Wales look to go into their final match against England with a chance of retaining their title.
"The physios are working on Gethin," said the Wales defence coach, Shaun Edwards. "Alun Wyn came back from injury in the middle of last year's Six Nations and made a good impact and his return gives us more strength in the second row. Andrew Coombs has done well and I am sure Rob Howley [the interim head coach] is thinking long and hard about the position; he has the end say."
Wales will keep the same back division and the only other area of contention is the back row.
Sam Warburton, the squad captain, was on the bench in Rome and the choices facing Howley are to leave him there, play him at blindside wing-forward, which was the decision for France in Paris last month before the flanker was ruled out by a neck injury, or bring him back at No7 in place of Justin Tipuric.
Howley's dilemma is deepened by the impact made by Ryan Jones as both a blindside and captain. Wales went to Paris having lost eight successive matches and they go to Murrayfield, where they have not lost since 2007, in confident mood.
"We have got a good record in the Six Nations in recent years," said Edwards. "It is a tournament in which we come alive. We have only conceded three defensive points in two matches – the other 12 have been from scrum penalties.
"If we can continue in that form over the next two games, we are in with a chance," he added.
Edwards said that Wales would be focused solely on beating Scotland, not on substantially improving their points difference, with England facing Italy the following day. "That would be disrespectful to Scotland," he went on. "We just have to win our next two games and hope it leads to the title even if, at the moment, you have to say England are in a healthy position with their points difference."
With Scotland also needing to win by a bundle to have any chance of overhauling England at the top on the final weekend, an open game would suit both sides, who have each scored six tries in the championship so far. All of Scotland's have come from their outside backs compared with five of Wales'.
"I can see the ball being thrown around if it is a dry day with the calibre of players in both teams," said the Wales wing Alex Cuthbert, who has scored five tries in his past seven Six Nations appearances. "We will certainly be looking to exploit space once the game wears down.
"The title is definitely a possibility given the way we have been playing, but no one is talking about the England game. We know we have to keep improving and Scotland will be up for it in front of their own supporters. They have had a couple of victories and the game is a sell-out. There is all to play for."
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