Newcastle will go for broke at Edgeley Park tonight in an attempt to secure Guinness Premiership survival.
The Falcons know victory over fellow strugglers Sale Sharks would guarantee they remain in English rugby's top flight. That would then leave Sale, Leeds Carnegie and current relegation favourites Worcester fighting it out to avoid the drop.
"A win would ensure our Premiership status for next season," said Newcastle rugby director Steve Bates. "So it's absolutely vital that we really attack this game and look to rubber-stamp our survival before the final round of matches in a fortnight's time."
He added: "Regardless of the various permutations, our fate is still very much in our own hands.
"The boys have looked sharp in training during the week, and they are all excited about the challenge in what we know could be a massive game for the club."
The Falcons, one point above Sale, are bolstered by skipper Carl Hayman's return following a back injury, and he will be joined in the front row by hooker Rob Vickers, who has shrugged off a neck problem.
Sale, meanwhile, need a maximum five points from two games to stay up - and Sharks boss Kingsley Jones does not want to leave things until the final game at Harlequins on May 8.
"We all realise the challenge that this game presents," said Jones, whose line-up includes seven England internationals.
"There is a lot riding on the outcome. For us, Friday night is about winning to be safe.
"If we lose, we are looking at going to Harlequins on May 8 needing a result, and nobody wants that."