LIONS v WOLVERHAMPTON, PREVIEW

Thursday August 31, 2017
LEICESTER are targeting a big finish to the SGB Premiership campaign - as they go into their last home fixture against title-chasing Wolverhampton at Beaumont Park on Friday (7.30pm).

A win over the defending top-flight champions could be enough for the Watling JCB Lions to climb off the foot of the table and avoid the end-of-season relegation race-off against the winners of the SGB Championship.

The exact scenario going into the meeting depends on the outcome of a double-header at King’s Lynn on Thursday – where the free-falling Stars, who have lost eleven of their last twelve matches, host play-off contenders Poole and Rye House.

Should Lynn lose both of those fixtures, a win for the Lions on Friday would take them above the Norfolk side – who would then only have away matches at top four sides Belle Vue and Wolverhampton to hit back. Lions, meanwhile, complete their league campaign at Rye House on Monday.

So there may well be a major incentive for Jim Lynch’s team, who have performed creditably against the top sides in recent weeks and will need to do the same again against a powerful Wolverhampton septet who have ominously just returned to full strength.

In addition to the injured Pawel Przedpelski, Lions go into the fixture without key reserve Josh Bates, who is representing Great Britain in the World Under-21 Team Championship Final at Polish venue Rybnik this weekend.

On a busy night of SGB Premiership action with all eight clubs involved, Lynch has secured the services of Leicester-born David Howe, who has made a successful comeback from retirement with Championship club Berwick this season, to guest for Bates.

Wolves are led by World title contender Fredrik Lindgren, who has been in devastating form in recent weeks and scored a maximum at Beaumont Park in their away win back in May.

Former Lions man Sam Masters has returned from a broken collarbone this week, and the match also features a clash of the Riss brothers as Leicester’s Erik faces elder sibling Mark – with the two set to meet in Heat 6.

Lions captain Danny King said: “We know we can’t win anything, but it would be really nice to get off the bottom of the table.

“I don’t think we deserve to be there, we’ve had a really tough year with the team, injuries and all sorts, and I think it would be nice for the fans and the Bates family to get off the bottom.

“They don’t deserve to finish there either, because they’ve put absolutely everything into it this year.

“It’s been hard for everyone, the fans, the team and the management, but things have got much better over the last few weeks and with the pressure off everyone has been turning up and enjoying things – and that seems to have been working because we’ve been getting results!”

Regardless of the outcome of this week’s fixtures, Lions fans have two more major meetings to look forward to in September.

The club host the long-awaited East Midlands Bowl clash with homeless Coventry on Sunday September 17 (2pm), followed by the final round of the 500cc and 250cc British Youth Championship series – and the following week, September 24, it’s the National League Riders’ Championship (3pm).

LEICESTER: Kim Nilsson, Erik Riss, Lasse Bjerre, Pawel Przedpelski r/r, Danny King, David Howe, Kyle Newman.
WOLVERHAMPTON: Fredrik Lindgren, Kyle Howarth, Rory Schlein, Jacob Thorssell, Sam Masters, Mark Riss, Nathan Greaves.




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