Toulon breezed through Pool 2 and romped past reigning champions Harlequins with an emphatic 37-8 victory at the beginning of the month to book their place in the last four. They also have a formidable home record with a 14-match winning sequence that stretches back to a 17-0 loss to Heineken Cup semi-finalists ASM Clermont Auvergne last September.
Toulon are desperate to make amends for their 28-21 loss in Marseilles to Cardiff Blues in the 2010 Amlin Challenge Cup final and hooker Sébastien Bruno reckons his side are peaking just at the right time.
"We have been playing particularly well in European games. We seem to play our best rugby in European competition," said Bruno.
"Last year, in what was our first Heineken Cup campaign, we put in some good performances to beat Munster and the Ospreys at home and London Irish home and away and two years ago we reached the final of the Amlin Challenge Cup."
Toulon boast a glittering array of stars with Joe van Niekerk, Jonny Wilkinson and Matt Giteau all in their starting line-up. But they will be without injured centre Mathieu Bastareaud, who wore the pink jersey of the Parisians in last season's Cardiff final.
Stade Francais remain unbeaten in the competition, but have made 11 changes to the side that edged past Exeter Chiefs at the quarter-finals.
Jerome Fillol captains the side from scrum-half while former Toulon flanker George Smith, who won 110 caps for Australia, lines-up in the unfamiliar position of centre against his former Wallabies team-mate Giteau.
Stade are under no illusions of the magnitude of their task in south-west France, but will be motivated by last season's heartbreak at the hands of Harlequins.They also realise that winning the Amlin Challenge Cup provides a direct route into the Heineken Cup.
"Toulon is probably one of the hardest places to go to in France win and, while obviously we play them in the Top 14 and know quite a bit about them, we know this Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final is certainly going to be a big ask for us," said assistant coach Chris Whitaker.
"But it is definitely a game we want to win and definitely a game we are really focusing on winning because winning the Amlin gives you the opportunity to play in the next Heineken Cup.
"After going so close last year against Harlequins only to lose 19-18 we would love to win the tournament this year."