PANTHERS v NEWCASTLE, PREVIEW

Friday May 18, 2018
PETERBOROUGH have one of their biggest nights of the season when they host Newcastle in the Championship on Saturday (7pm).

The T.Balfe Construction Panthers are once again staging a Saturday night meeting as part of the major MCN Festival at the East of England Showground, with last year’s event proving a huge success.

Ironically the Diamonds were also the visitors in the corresponding fixture in 2017 and a thrilling night of racing ensued – with the only negative for the Panthers being that they were edged out 43-47.

This time, the home side will look to build on last Sunday’s win over Edinburgh, in which Michael Palm Toft scored a stunning 18-point maximum.

Since then, No.1 Scott Nicholls has safely booked his place in the British Final by finishing third in Tuesday’s semi at Leicester, whilst reserve Tom Bacon went through the card from six rides at Birmingham on Wednesday.

The Diamonds are forced into changes from their regular line-up as Stuart Robson is injured, Tero Aarnio is racing in a GP qualifier in Italy and Lewis Rose is taking time out of the sport.

In their place the North-East side bring in Gino Manzares and Jonas B Andersen as guests, and they operate rider-replacement for Aarnio.

Panthers boss Carl Johnson said: “We want big performances every week, and this meeting will be no different.

“We’ll be in the same mindset as we were last Sunday, and hopefully we can get another three points.

“If we can beat Newcastle then we can look at the away points we scored at Sheffield and Edinburgh as effectively cancelling out the home defeat by Workington, and we would take that at this stage.

“Not a lot of teams will go to Sheffield or Edinburgh and take points, although obviously we were disappointed to lose at home to Workington.

“It’s all about character, we showed some good spirit last week and we want the same again.”

Supporters are reminded of the arrangements for Saturday which will see the Arena cleared of Festival day-visitors from around 5pm.

Gates for the speedway will open at 6pm with entry via gate 2 (next to the riders’ entrance). Parking will be either side of the access road on the approach to that gate, with disabled on the near-side.

Supporters are asked to arrive as early as possible, particularly in order to secure their preferred seat with a big crowd expected.

PETERBOROUGH: Scott Nicholls, Emil Grondal, Nike Lunna, Michael Palm Toft, Ulrich Ostergaard, Simon Lambert, Tom Bacon.
NEWCASTLE: Ludvig Lindgren, Gino Manzares, Jonas B Andersen, Matthew Wethers, Tero Aarnio R/R, Carl Wilkinson, Ashley Morris.

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