While the home side's top players will go into the match just six days after appearing for Wales in their bruising Autumn Test defeat by Australia at the Millennium Stadium, Townsend, Glasgow's head coach, is hoping the extra week's rest from the big stage will give most of his players an advantage at Arms Park.
The Warriors need to beat the Blues twice in seven days to keep alive their quest to reach the quarter finals for the first time.
"It's tough coming back from international rugby," said Townsend. "There are mental and physical demands of playing at that level and then coming back into club camp.
"We didn't want to bring all our players back in last week for the Pro12 win against the Ospreys, but this weekend is different. We played the Blues early on in the season and were fortunate enough to come away with a win. They played well against us that night and have obviously been up and down with their form.
"But they've had some really good games and their win over Toulon was a cracking match.
"They are really boosted by their Lions who should all be back for them this week. They will have Sam Warburton, Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Gethin Jenkins and other really good players back in their group.
"They're still in the mix and so are we. It's a really important game, so I imagine they'll turn up for it at their best."