Friday October 08, 2021
LEICESTER have a job to complete when they host Scunthorpe at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena on Saturday (7pm).

The Watling JCB Lions very much hold the advantage heading into the second leg of their play-off quarter-final after a superb 54-36 win in Lincolnshire last week.

But they still have to ensure there are no slip-ups on their home circuit in order to book their place in the last four.

And the meeting also sees a welcome return for youngster Dan Thompson as part of a full-strength Lions side, with the 17-year-old having missed recent away matches at Glasgow, Poole and Scunthorpe due to illness.

After a fortnight out of action, Saturday’s meeting will provide ideal track time for Thompson ahead of what will hopefully be a semi-final to come, along with brother Joe and Zaine Kennedy who have both had a week off the bike following the win at Scunthorpe.

And for Nick Morris, Ryan Douglas and Kyle Howarth, progression to the semi-finals will extend their seasons as all were involved in teams who were eliminated from the Premiership play-offs on Thursday – whilst Hans Andersen moved on to the Final with Peterborough.

The Scorpions travel with a much-changed line-up with absentees for a host of reasons.

James Shanes, Jye Etheridge and Lions asset Connor Mountain all step in as guests for Tero Aarno (visa issue), Thomas Jorgensen (injured) and Theo Pijper (suspended) respectively, and the visitors are also without Adam Ellis.

Leicester manager Stewart Dickson said: “The performance at Scunthorpe last week was very good, and we’ll now be looking for another professional showing and to get everyone scoring.

“Obviously we would be devastated if we failed to go through from the position we’re in, and this meeting should now hopefully set things up for what is to come.

“I still firmly believe we can win this league title again, we have the riders with the capability of winning on any track whoever they go up against, and we all want to see Leicester challenging for the major honours.

“We need to get the job done on Saturday and then see where the next stage takes us.”

Fixture arrangements for the coming weeks should become clearer after the meeting, with both quarter-finals due to be completed on Friday and Saturday. League leaders Poole then have choice of opponents in the semi-finals, and have already confirmed their home leg will take place next Wednesday.

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