The Londoners head to Stockport just six points above bottom club and relegation favourites Newcastle, who closed the gap by beating London Irish last time out.
That result means Wasps, European champions in 2004 and 2007, remain realistic candidates to drop out of the Premiership.
It would have been an unthinkable prospect at the start of this season, but only four wins from 15 league fixtures tell a dismal story.
"I have no doubt that Newcastle will win a few more games, but it is up to us to control what we can control," rugby director Young said.
"We are six points in front of them, but just four behind Worcester. We can still catch teams in front of us if we can turn the narrow losses into wins.
"I genuinely believe after the last two performances (against Saracens and Exeter) that if we can just improve another 10-15% then that win is not far away from us.
"We are creating good scoring opportunities, but what we need is to turn those chances from being a yard short of the line into being a yard over it.
"We simply need to be more clinical.
"Over the last two games we were the side who looked more likely to score tries, but the difference at the moment is that we are not finishing them off."
Young includes Ospreys wing loan signing Tom Prydie at Edgeley Park in a team captained by lock Marco Wentzel, while young forward prospects James Cannon and Joe Launchbury also feature.
With Richard Birkett ruled out for the weekend, Launchbury is handed the number six shirt from the off for his first start since October, while Cannon is named in the second-row for his first start of the competitive season - both having recovered from lengthy spells on the sidelines.
In the two other changes to the starting line-up, Jack Wallace starts on the wing while Tim Payne returns to the front row.
On the bench, Russian hooker Vladislav Korshunov replaces Rob Webber, who is on England duty, and Joe Simpson also makes the replacements having been released from international duty.
"Sale were one of the teams this year who I felt totally outplayed us, so we know how good they are," Young added.
"Going up there on a Friday night is not the easiest trip, but every game is massive for us now, and if we are to get those wins we need then we will have to win in some tough venues."
Sale, still in contention for a title play-off place, include Wales international Andy Powell at number eight after he failed to gain a place in Wales' 22 for their Six Nations clash against England on Saturday.
Kearnan Myall is included in the second row, his first start since the Amlin Challenge Cup game at La Vila on January 14.
Vadim Cobilas is preferred at tighthead prop and James Gaskell switches to blindside flanker.
Looking ahead to his side's remaining seven games, Sharks chief executive Steve Diamond said: "We've got four home games left in the Aviva Premiership, and we've got to win them all, starting with Friday if we're to challenge the top four.
"Our discipline let us down a bit at Northampton last Saturday, so we need to keep winning our home games and pickup points where we can on the road."
Friday's game brings Wasps to face current Sharks' head coach Tony Hanks, but the former Adams Park Director of Rugby says: "I'm very focused about the task in hand here.
"This game is not about me, it's about Sale Sharks, our ambition and what we want to achieve. Getting the points is paramount."
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