LEICESTER look to make club history when they face Ipswich at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park on Monday (7.30pm).

The Watling JCB Lions are currently on a run of eight successive victories in the Sports Insure Premiership, equalling the achievements of previous teams in 1969, 1970, 1973 and 2022 – with last year’s Championship side seeing a ninth win expunged by the withdrawal of Newcastle.

Aside from looking to break a record, it’s also the start of a massive week in the context of the play-off chase with the Lions having two home matches, as they also host Sheffield on Thursday.

And they are fully aware of the threat provided first of all by the Witches, who are very much in last-chance saloon as far as their own top four hopes go, but who knocked the Lions out of the KO Cup in April and now appear to be in stronger shape than on their last visit to Leicester in early June.

On that occasion, the Lions won 52-38 but the Witches now have their full one-to-seven back together, and one intriguing aspect of the meeting will be the presence of Dan Thompson at No.7 for the visitors.

Thompson was replaced by Drew Kemp in the Lions team as Rising Star last month and quicky made the switch to Foxhall – and whilst Kemp has undoubtedly proved to be a successful signing for Leicester, Thompson has also found his feet with Ipswich recently, and enjoyed success over the weekend when he qualified for the European Under-19 Final.

At the top of the Ipswich side, the visitors are led by their all-star duo of Emil Sayfutdinov and Jason Doyle, with Sayfutdinov having dropped just one point in ten rides at Beaumont Park this season.

The Lions are unchanged from their win at King’s Lynn last time out, and they start the meeting second in the table on 27 points, ten clear of the Witches who have also raced three more matches.

Team manager Stewart Dickson said: “I expect a tough meeting. We’ve had tough meetings against Ipswich the whole way through the season, and we will need to be on the sort of form we’ve been on for the last five or six home meetings to get the result we require.

“We know the obvious threat which comes from their two big hitters, but this will be the third time Keynan Rew has come to our track, and I’m pretty sure Dan Thompson will have a point to prove as well.

“We certainly need to be on our best performance to get the win and keep us up near the top of the league, and then we can look forward to another big one on Thursday.”

LEICESTER: Max Fricke, Justin Sedgmen, Troy Batchelor, Chris Harris, Richard Lawson, Jake Allen, Drew Kemp.
IPSWICH: Emil Sayfutdinov, Keynan Rew, Danny King, Erik Riss, Jason Doyle, Danyon Hume, Dan Thompson

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Leicester Lions V Oxford Spires
May 27, 2024

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