Basketball: Riders in top-of-table showdown
The top two sides in the BBL put their undefeated records on the line as Leicester Riders travel to Tyneside to take on champions Newcastle Eagles in a mouth-watering clash (7.30).
With five wins, the Jelson Homes DMU-backed Riders are second in the table and in the midst of their best-ever start to a BBL campaign.
Newcastle have won all seven of their outings, just one shy of their club record.
The pair clash for the first time since the Eagles beat Riders in the play-off final to end last season.
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There is even a chance that Riders could head to the north-east at full strength as John Fraley has shown remarkable powers of recovery after suffering what, at the time, looked a serious knee injury, in Durham, last Sunday.
Despite having been given a prognosis of a two to three-week lay-off earlier this week, coach Rob Paternostro was suitably vague when talking about the chances of his forward playing this weekend.
"When you see one of your guys go down like that, it is not a good feeling," he said, recalling the incident.
"I think all of us were shell-shocked when it happened, our first reaction was that we felt for John because not only is he a great player, but he is such a good person.
"So, when you see a guy you care for in the amount of pain he was in, it hurts everyone. At the time, you really fear for him, because he was in such distress.
"But, amazingly, during the last few days he's made great progress and we are very encouraged by what we've seen.
"We're hopeful that he will be back sooner rather than later."
Paternostro would not be pressed on whether 'sooner' could mean tonight, but Fraley has arguably been Riders' most consistent performer this season. If tonight's game comes too soon in his rehabilitation, it would be massive loss, particularly with Newcastle's summer signing Kareem Maddox receiving rave reviews in his first few weeks in the BBL.
"I think both their new players are guys who have shown that they can play in systems," said Paternostro.
"When you join a team where you have players who are already established, like they have in abundance at Newcastle, you have to fit in.
"I've been impressed by both Damon Huffman and Maddox. It is a team that is not only very good on paper, but one that knows how to win and competes really hard."
It's been 15 years and counting since Leicester last returned from Tyneside with anything other than a defeat, a run of 27 consecutive victories for the Eagles.
But Paternostro is philosophical about such statistics, even given his own 0-7 record in Newcastle.
"It's not been an easy place to play for any team, we're among many who've been up there and not got a result," he said. "You have to make sure you play a really smart game on both ends of the floor when you play them."
Eagles: Huffman, Smith, Maddox, Madourie, Defoe, Martin, Flournoy, Matthew, Chapman.
Riders: Okoro, Cousinard, Stewart, Sullivan, Calvo, Hopkins, Taylor, Anderson, Washington, Lamble, Fraley, Haggith, Gould, Dawes, Maynard, Losonsky.