Vital for Lions to sparkle and outshine Diamonds
It's a must-win meeting for Leicester Lions tonight when they take on Newcastle Diamonds at Beaumont Park (7.30).
The Lions have been unbeatable on their home track all season but know they will have to firing on all cylinders if they are to win this Premier League play-off group.
The Elliott-sponsored Lions' first tie in the play-off was due to be last night away against Somerset.
However, persistent rain forced the cancellation of the meeting. No new date has yet been set.
This voucher entitles you to 25% of any of our Nottingham Photography Courses:
One Day intro to DSLR Photography
Portrait and Studio
Evening City Photography
Terms: You can only use the one voucher per course. You cannot use this voucher in conjunction with any other offer.
Contact: 01159 078634
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
Newcastle will be a tough nut to crack tonight. They finished the regular season on top of the table and reached the semi-finals of both the League Cup and Knock-out Cup.
When the teams last met in Leicester, back in June, the Lions edged to a 46-44 victory, captain Kauko Nieminen leading the way with a 12+1.
Their next match was one to forget however, the return at Newcastle, where they were thrashed 62-31.
Beaumont Park is braced for one of its biggest attendances of the season and the club's co-promoter, Alan Jones, knows the riders must turn it on.
"All three match points are a must against Newcastle," he said. "We have to go for every available point because, in a tie situation, it could be settled on points scored for and against that count.
"There is no doubt we are perceived to be the underdogs in this group. The results between Newcastle and Somerset last weekend has given Somerset the edge, so Newcastle need to win here.
"Our challenge is to not only win, but win handsomely. We are not kidding ourselves, it will be tough, very tough, but there are no easy meetings when you reach this stage of the competition."
Fronting the Newcastle challenge are Mark Lemon and Stuart Robson, two of the most experienced riders in the Premier League.
Supporting them are three riders who have upped their averages from the start of the season. Christian Henry, a winter capture from Glasgow, has put almost one-and-a-half points on his average, while Ludvig Lindgren and Claes Nedermark have both experienced an upward trend of one additional point per meeting on theirs.
Newcastle have guest riders to cover for the injured Worrall twins, Steve and Richie.
One is the British under-21 Individual champion Joe Haines, who rides for the Sheffield Tigers and was a recent visitor to Beaumont Park in the Midland Fours event, scoring six points.
The other is Paul Starke, who rides in the National League for the Isle of Wight.
Leicester: 1 Kauko Nieminen, 2 Linus Eklof, 3 Lasse Bjerre, 4 Jan Graversen, 5 Magnus Karlsson, 6 Jari Makinen, 7 Lewis Blackbird.
Newcastle: 1 Stuart Robson, 2 Claes Nedermark, 3 Mark Lemon, 4 Christian Henry, 5 Ludvig Lindgren, 6 Paul Starke, 7 Joe Haines.