Photo: by Stephen Waller
IPSWICH CHALLENGE BELLE VUE
NEW Premiership leaders Ipswich head to Belle Vue in tonight’s (Monday – UK time) televised fixture with just one point between the sides.
The Witches took over at the summit with their narrow home win over King’s Lynn on Thursday, deposing the Aces who dropped to third as Wolverhampton won at Peterborough.
Both sides are forced into changes due to GP Qualifiers, with rider replacement operating for Max Fricke for the Aces and Zach Cook guesting for Norick Blodorn – but they do welcome Jye Etheridge back from injury.
The Witches bring in Justin Sedgmen to guest for Erik Riss, and operate rider replacement for the injured Paul Starke.
Aces boss Mark Lemon said: “Firstly, it’s great to see Jye back with the team. We’ve been monitoring his fitness closely and are glad to report he has recovered very well after a practice ride.
“Using the rider replacement facility is never ideal as it places extra pressure on the boys but I have the faith in them to deal with it and with the Witches.”
Ipswich manager Ritchie Hawkins said: “We go to Belle Vue top of the league, but missing Starkey and Erik means that all the other boys are going to have to put in a massive performance so that we give ourselves a shot at the win. They are missing a couple of riders too, so hopefully we can come away with something.
“Certainly, all the boys talk about set-up more when they are going to Belle Vue and getting on the right set-up. We have got some experienced riders so hopefully they get that right.”
WOLVERHAMPTON bid to complete a quickfire double over champions Peterborough when the sides meet at Monmore Green tonight (Monday).
Wolves were impressive 50-40 winners at the East of England Arena last Thursday despite an 18-point maximum from the Panthers’ Chris Harris – a result which leaves the defending champions still to get off the mark after five matches.
Both sides are unchanged and Wolves skipper Sam Masters is urging his riders to guard against complacency given that the visitors won twice at Monmore last season.
Masters said: “We know some of these Peterborough boys are really good around Wolves, so we’ve got to stay on our game even though they’re not having the best of runs.
“They’re going to turn it around at some point because their team isn’t too much different to last year and they won the league.
“We need to try and get some more points off them while they’re down – they’ve got a few riders struggling.”
Panthers boss Rob Lyon said: “Who knows what will happen going forward, really that’s a million-dollar question. We need to focus on winning meetings, and that’s my main aim. In terms of anything else going on, I think that’s for another day.
“It would be nice to get some points on the board at Wolves, and we did well there last year with the same riders, so I don’t see any reason why we can’t do that.”
MONDAY JUNE 6:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Ipswich 7.30, Wolverhampton v Peterborough 7.30
TUESDAY JUNE 7:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Birmingham 7pm
WEDNESDAY JUNE 8:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Edinburgh 7.30, Oxford v Newcastle 7.30, Poole v Leicester 7.30