Speedway: Magnus Karlsson boost for Leicester Lions
Leicester Lions have received a major boost for their Premier League play-off campaign.
Star rider Magnus Karlsson, who missed the final fixture of the league season proper through injury, has been passed fit and takes his place at No.5 for tonight's trip to Somerset Rebels.
Lasse Bjerre and Jari Makinen also picked up knocks during a gruelling three matches in three days schedule on the road but they too are ready.
Somerset are the early leaders in the three-team group, having trounced Newcastle 53-37 at the Oaktree Arena. They then picked up a losing bonus point when they narrowly went down 48-44 in the return in the north east.
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It's going to be a tough ask for the Lions tonight, in what is the first of three defining meetings. Tomorrow they host Newcastle at Beaumont Park before travelling to the Newcastle Arena 24 hours later.
Since returning to speedway 18 months ago, the Lions have travelled to Somerset four times but have yet to record a win.
"Somerset are in the driving seat and will be quietly confident of consolidating their position against us," said Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.
"Titles are won on performances away from your own backyard when you have to raise your game above the home team.
"That is where successful teams are judged as to whether they have the mental character to pull it off.
"In our group, all three teams have not lost at home so something has to give.
"It will be tight and there is no leeway for errors, which makes the play-offs an exciting position to be in and, hopefully, we can do ourselves justice."
The return fixture with Somerset takes place at Beaumont Park a week tomorrow.
Somerset: 1 Jason Doyle, 2 Alex Davies, 3 Jesper B Monberg, 4 James Wright, 5 Claus Vissing, 6 Kyle Newman, 7 Tom Perry.
Leicester: 1 Kauko Nieminen, 2 Linus Eklof, 3 Lasse Bjerre, 4 Jan Graversen, 5 Magnus Karlsson, 6 Jari Makinen, 7 Lewis Blackbird.