Speedway: Leicester Lions face league champions in first meeting
Leicester Lions will launch their 2013 campaign with a visit to Premier League champions Scunthorpe Scorpions on Good Friday, March 29.
League Cup points will be at stake, as they will be 24 hours later when Lions host Sheffield Tigers at Beaumont Park.
They then take on Scunthorpe at home on Saturday, April 6, before the final group match at Sheffield, on Thursday, April 11.
The team that finishes top of the group will go forward to the semi-final stages.
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Lions co-promoter Alan Jones said: "It is an interesting start to the season having to face the league champions so early on.
"Scunthorpe have basically the same side that won the title but, in contrast, Sheffield have four new faces in the team."
Fans will get a chance to see the Lions in action at Beaumont Park before the League Cup meetings kick in.
A fixture has been pencilled in for Saturday, March 23, and is expected to be a challenge match.
"Ideally, we do not want to start our season with an away meeting at Scunthorpe in the League Cup," said Jones.
"We are, therefore, in discussions with another club as to the viability of a challenge match at Beaumont Park, possibly taking place the previous Saturday.
"But until the details are finalised, we are unable to confirm the visiting team."
The Lions embark on their Premier League programme with a visit from Redcar on Saturday, April 20.
It will be the first outing for new rider Kevin Doolan, who will be racing against the club he left to join Leicester.
During April, Leicester enter the League Knock-out Cup with back-to-back meetings against Edinburgh – in Scotland on Friday, April 12, with the return at Beaumont Park 24 hours later.