Thursday September 16, 2021
LEICESTER make two changes to their regular line-up for Friday’s re-arranged Championship trip to second-placed Redcar.

Dan and Joe Thompson are unavailable for the match at the Media Prima Arena as they are competing in the British Under-19 Championship at Scunthorpe – which is itself a re-arrangement after an abandonment earlier in the summer at Mildenhall.

The Watling JCB Lions operate rider-replacement at No.2 for Dan, and had intended to bring in Birmingham’s Jack Thomas to guest for Joe at reserve.

However Thomas, who spent the first half of the 2019 season with the Lions, is now on the sidelines with a neck injury, so boss Stewart Dickson has turned to speedway returnee Greg Blair to fill the gap.

Blair has been racing for the Berwick Bullets in the National Development League this season and scored three points for the senior Bandits side when he stepped in at Redcar last month.

It’s a key fixture for both sides with the Lions striving to finish as high as possible in the table – and they face three away matches in five days, as they also visit Glasgow on Sunday and Kent on Tuesday.

A big haul of points in those meetings could still see them join the battle for the top two, which is also very much the aim for Redcar and Glasgow.

And sandwiched in between the matches on Teesside and at Ashfield is the first leg of the KO Cup semi-final against Poole at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena on Saturday.

Dickson said: “Jack Thomas was ruled out for seven days and looking at the two-star riders which I’m allowed to go up to, Greg’s the best option for us especially with the U19 Final also taking place.

“Greg rode at Redcar three weeks ago and he beat James Sarjeant once and Ryan Kinsley twice – if he can do that for me, I’ll be happy, and he’s very much up for it and wants to race.

“Obviously we’re going to need Zaine Kennedy to score well, and I know he’s yet to score a point at Redcar – but to be fair, he didn’t go very well for Sheffield at Scunthorpe in 2019, and then he scored a barrel-load for us there three weeks ago.

“Zaine is a different rider now than he was a couple of years ago, and we will need points from him tomorrow.

“If we could win at either Redcar or Glasgow in the next few days, then Leicester have a big part to play in the top two or three.

“And obviously we hope everyone comes through okay, including the twins at Scunthorpe, because it’s a massive home meeting against Poole on Saturday.”

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

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