Leicester boss Dean Richards however insists that his side can putthings right starting with a win on Saturday before a 16,800 sell-out crowdat their Welford Road stadium.
"It's still open," said a defiant Richards. "We'rein one of those pools where it's difficult to predict the outcome. We're going through a bit of a hiccup at the moment, but itcan be put right."
England skipper Johnson, struggling with a back injury, came offthe bench against Ulster last weekend and reports have said that he has delayedhis retirement announcement until after Saturday's game to avoid anydisruption in training.
Ulster have named an unchanged side with coach Alan Solomonssaying: "This weekend is a massive challenge for us, but this is why we're involvedin professional rugby. We live for matches like these."
In the other Pool 1 game on Sunday, struggling Stade Francais havebrought in 22-year-old Gregory Mahe at scrum-half replacing the injuredAgustin Pichot at home to Gwent Dragons. The Welsh side won 20-12 at home when the sides met last weekend.
Reigning champions Toulouse travel to Wales in Friday's openerlooking for back-to-back wins over Neath-Swansea Ospreys as they continue totrack Pool 2leaders Edinburgh. French international centre Yannick Jauzion said last weekend'swin in a mud-bath of a match at Toulouse had sent confidence soaring followingthe shock of their defeat away to Edinburgh in December.
Edinburgh travel to Leeds looking to maintain their 100 %record and the Yorkshire side know that they cannot afford another slip-up. "It is still mathematically possible for us to qualify forthe quarter-finals and, as long as that chance exists - however slim itmay be - then we will keep going," said Leeds coach Phil Davies.
In Pool 4, unbeaten leaders Llanelli Scarlets will be hard-pushed at Agen aside they beat by just 19-15 at home last weekend, while Northampton couldgo top if the Welsh side lose and they garner the maximum five points awayto Borders. "There will be a reversal of roles this weekend," saidLlanelli boss Gareth Jenkins of the trip to southwest France. "The expectation and the pressure is on them - the whole ofAgen will be expecting a home result."
It's nip-and-tuck in Pool 6 with Wasps, Perpignan and CelticWarriors level on 10 points. The Warriors battle it out with Wasps in Wales, and Perpignan willbe looking to take advantage when they travel to Italy to play aCalvisano side they defeated 48-7 last weekend. Pool 5 leaders Gloucester facea tough visit to second-placedMunster, while Italian side Treviso will be hard-pushed to repeat their 42-33win over Bourgoin away from home.
Both Leinster and Biarritz, joint leaders of Pool 3 on 10 pointsare away, the Irish having the harder assignment at Sale with the Frenchtravelling to struggling Cardiff who have lost their last 10 European Cup games.