PANTHERS v REDCAR, PREVIEW

Friday April 13, 2018
PETERBOROUGH make a welcome return to home action on Sunday when they face Redcar in their opening Championship fixture (5pm).

The T.Balfe Construction Panthers have had three weeks away from the East of England Arena but the intervening period saw them make good progress in their Shield group.

Now league points are up for grabs against a much-changed Bears team who include two newcomers to British Speedway in their ranks.

Panthers go into the meeting without Michael Palm Toft, who suffered an ankle injury in a crash at Swindon on Thursday.

Palm Toft is hopeful that his absence will be a brief one, but with the guest facility now available for any members of the top three, Panthers have booked 2017 team member Paul Starke as cover.

The Bears are again led by Panthers asset Ben Barker, now in his second season on Teesside, and pack strength at reserve in German international Tobias Busch and the vastly experienced Theo Pijper.

The middle order includes young Dane Mikkel B Andersen, brother of Jonas B, and rising Australian star Jordan Stewart – whilst Matej Kus is back in British racing after a year away.

Their opening meeting at Scunthorpe last week resulted in a heavy defeat, but Panthers boss Carl Johnson feels little can be read into that outcome.

He said: “It will be good to get back on home shale after a few weeks away, and I’m expecting Redcar to provide tough opposition.

“Even though they struggled a bit in their first meeting they are capable of doing well at our place and they could give us a difficult match.

“Most of the boys have had a bit of a break once again so they should all be raring to go, and we’re looking forward to the meeting.

“Paul jumped at the chance of taking the guest booking, and obviously he was a firm favourite with us last season.

“We would have liked to have brought him back this year before he went to Glasgow, but it will be nice to have him back in the team on Sunday.

“Michael just needs a bit of time, his ankle is swollen and it’s a case of resting it and seeing what happens. He’s going to the hospital to have a check-up but hopefully with a week or so off, he’ll be back to normal.”

PETERBOROUGH: Scott Nicholls, Emil Grondal, Nike Lunna, Paul Starke, Ulrich Ostergaard, Tom Bacon, Simon Lambert.
REDCAR: Ben Barker, Jordan Stewart, Jonas B Andersen, Mikkel B Andersen, Matej Kus, Tobias Busch, Theo Pijper.


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