Thursday September 09, 2021
LEICESTER head into another vital weekend with two matches in two days which could see them secure their Championship play-off place.

The Watling JCB Lions travel to second-placed Redcar on Friday, before hosting Edinburgh in another big meeting at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena just under 24 hours later (Saturday, 7pm).

Stewart Dickson’s side are currently on 30 points, and 34 will be enough to guarantee a top six finish, meaning that can be achieved either with a big win at the Media Prima Arena, or by taking a point on Teesside and then beating the Monarchs at home.

And if they are successful in both meetings, it could open the door once again for the Lions to challenge for a top two finish and automatic qualification for the semi-finals.

Redcar currently hold that position behind leaders Poole, and boosted their own hopes with a 48-42 win at Birmingham on Wednesday.

The Bears have re-jigged their line-up of late following the closure of Eastbourne, bringing in former Eagles rider Lewis Kerr, who was in strong form in the victory at Perry Barr.

At reserve they include Greg Blair as a guest for Ryan Kinsley, who has been granted time to organise his machinery, which has now been recovered after the theft of his van and equipment last weekend.

Lions name a full-strength side with Nick Morris back from his concussion break and taking over the No.1 berth as his average is a fraction higher than that of Hans Andersen.

Dickson said: “Redcar have had a few somewhat indifferent results at home, which maybe is because they don’t have a massive home track advantage – at least that’s what I read!

“We certainly have riders who can ride that place, and we welcome Nick back in the No.1 race-jacket.

“I know he’s been in the wars and he had a couple of falls at Monmore Green on Monday, but at least having Monday night got him back racing and it will hopefully put him in good stead for Friday.

“It would be great to get something there, although I do feel the more important meeting of the two, without running Redcar down at all, is to win at home on Saturday.

“Edinburgh come to ours with (Sam) Masters, (Richie) Worrall and (Josh) Pickering, which is very strong, as well as decent second-strings and reserves, so I expect a very tough encounter there.”

REDCAR: Charles Wright, James Sarjeant, Jake Allen, Lewis Kerr, Michael Palm Toft, Greg Blair, Jordan Jenkins.
LEICESTER: Nick Morris, Dan Thompson, Hans Andersen, Kyle Howarth, Ryan Douglas, Joe Thompson, Zaine Kennedy.

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