LEICESTER kick off a crucial Bank Holiday weekend in the race for the Sports Insure Premiership play-offs with a trip to Ipswich on Thursday (7.30pm).

The Watling JCB Lions are in action four times in a five-day spell, and by the end of Monday’s home clash with King’s Lynn they will hope to have done enough to secure a top four finish.

That could even be guaranteed as early as Thursday night as Ipswich are one of four teams who currently could finish ahead of the Lions, but that would not be the case if Leicester take all three points at Foxhall.

Ipswich are on 28 points with just two matches remaining whilst the Lions have 29 with six to go. A Leicester win on Thursday would take them to the brink of confirming their place, whilst a win with the aggregate point would make it certain – although that is a long shot as the Witches go into the meeting with a 53-37 advantage from their recent win at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park.

Whatever the case, Ipswich can total a maximum of 34 points in the table meaning the Lions need a maximum of six more to be sure of qualification regardless of the outcome at Foxhall on Thursday.

Leicester will be at full strength for the trip to Suffolk, where they have performed strongly so far this season, going down by six points in the KO Cup and then by just four in their previous league visit.

They welcome back Craig Cook after a back injury, with team boss Stewart Dickson juggling his riding order including a new opening combination of captain Max Fricke and Richie Worrall.

Meanwhile with Dan Thompson on the sidelines with a dislocated shoulder, Jason Edwards stands in as a guest at reserve for the Witches.

Dickson said: “I’ve been looking to get a better balance in the team and we weren’t fully aware on Craig’s fitness when the line-up was declared, but that’s what we’re trying to do.

“I want to look to hurt Ipswich in certain areas, but I know it’s going to be really tough to win down there.

“On Saturday against Sheffield I’m going to put Richie Worrall at No.5, and in both matches we’ll run with Richard Lawson and Justin Sedgmen in the middle order which I do think will achieve a better balance.

“The bottom line is we’ve got to win at home over the weekend, but we can make life easier with a good performance at Ipswich.”

Lions return home on Saturday with a big double header which sees them first take on Sheffield in the Sports Insure Premiership at 6.30pm before the Lion Cubs face Oxford in a crucial NDL encounter. There is no increase in regular Premiership admission prices for the double header.

IPSWICH: Emil Sayfutdinov, Erik Riss, Danny King, Keynan Rew, Jason Doyle, Danyon Hume, Jason Edwards.
LEICESTER: Max Fricke, Richie Worrall, Richard Lawson, Justin Sedgmen, Craig Cook, Jake Allen, Drew Kemp.

Next Home Meeting

Leicester Cubs V Scunthorpe Stags / Sheffield Prowlers
May 19, 2024

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