LEICESTER face their biggest meeting so far this season when they host power-packed Ipswich at the Pidcock Motorcyles Arena, Beaumont Park on Thursday (7.30pm).

It’s a mouthwatering encounter between the two sides currently first and second in the ROWE Motor Oil Premiership table, with the Watling JCB Lions desperate to erase the memory of recent results between the clubs.

Three straight wins have propelled Stewart Dickson’s side to the top of the early pace setters, but during a rather inconsistent start to the campaign they suffered a home defeat against the Witches in the KO Cup.

In fact, Ipswich won each of their first five matches in all competitions before losing that record at Belle Vue last Monday albeit they were without two of their top three riders.

Former Leicester captain Danny King is on the sidelines for the visitors after suffering a double fracture to his hand in a crash at Redcar last week, and the Witches will operate the rider replacement facility which means an extra outing is available to all of their team members except No.1 Emil Sayfutdinov.

That includes former World Champion Jason Doyle, who lines up at No.3, and Leicester’s ex-Rising Star Dan Thompson who has scored impressively on his returns to Beaumont Park.

The Lions return to their established riding order after a switch of second strings against Birmingham last week, with Richard Lawson taking over at No.2 again and Luke Becker switching to No.4.

Dickson said: “It’s a big night for us. It’s been clear since we moved up to the Premiership that, unfortunately, Ipswich like our track, and they really seem to enjoy racing on it.

“There have been some nice comments from them about it, which is always good to hear, but ultimately we want to win, and we want to be beating them!

“From a team perspective we need a seven-rider effort. I know they’ve only got six riders but we need a seven-rider effort for what we’re planning to get. I don’t think having five riders scoring points will be enough for us.

“Joe (Thompson) was in on Tuesday for a few laps just to feel good on the bike again, and we’re all raring to go for the meeting.

“I think it’s fair to say that the weather has played a part in the last two home meetings with the crowd numbers, but hopefully with a favourable forecast and a very attractive fixture, the Leicester fans will come out in force and get behind the team, because we will need that backing.

“There’s a real incentive for us, and it’s very straightforward. If we win on Thursday we stay top of the league, and then we can go targeting away points next week further down the line.

“So the message is please come along and support us, and hopefully we can defeat Ipswich, which is something we have done since we returned to the Premiership – but there’s no getting round the fact that they’ve had the better of us.

“It’s there if we want it, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t beat them on Thursday, and that’s how we’ll approach it.”

Supporters who are unable to make it on the night are reminded that the meeting will be live streamed on LionsTV with passes available from .

LEICESTER: Max Fricke, Richard Lawson, Sam Masters, Luke Becker, Ryan Douglas, Drew Kemp, Joe Thompson.
IPSWICH: Emil Sayfutdinov, Danny King R/R, Jason Doyle, Dan Thompson, Adam Ellis, Keynan Rew, Jordan Jenkins.
SCB Referee: Phil Griffin

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Leicester Lions V Ipswich Witches
July 18, 2024 19.30

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