PANTHERS v SCUNTHORPE, PREVIEW

Thursday July 12, 2018
PETERBOROUGH start a crunch weekend featuring two home matches when they host Scunthorpe at the East of England Arena (Friday, 7.30pm).

Wins over the Scorpions and then Sheffield on Sunday would leave the table-topping T.Balfe Construction Panthers in a position of major strength at the summit of the Championship.

And with both opposing teams amongst the pre-season favourites but currently outside the top four, they are key fixtures for all three sides.

Panthers fans will also get the opportunity to welcome back their Championship Fours-winning riders, with the silverware secured at Redcar earlier this month set to be on show during Friday’s pre-meeting parade.

The match itself sees Panthers take on a Scorpions side who have been ravaged by injuries during the season so far, but who have been given a major boost by the return of No.1 and skipper Steve Worrall.

The former British No.2 suffered a broken leg in a crash during the Scorpions’ first fixture of the season, but has declared himself fit to make his comeback this weekend.

Jason Garrity and Stefan Nielsen remain on the sidelines, but with Aaron Summers in as a guest and all bar Worrall eligible for Nielsen’s rider-replacement rides, the visitors are expected to pose a significant challenge.

Panthers, meanwhile, welcome back Emil Grondal who has been out since late-May after a serious crash in Denmark.

New averages for July have seen skipper Simon Lambert move above Grondal, which means the Dane returns to the team at reserve alongside Tom Bacon.

Peterborough promoter Ged Rathbone said: “It should work out well for Emil, he’s been riding in Denmark, and whilst there are no easy rides in this league there may be slightly less pressure for him coming back at reserve.

“It’s also a positive for Simon, who’s had a difficult season at times, especially early on, but he’s now put his average up which is credit to him, and he’s into the top five on merit.

“We are expecting nothing other than a very close meeting. Scunthorpe are a good side, and I’m sure (promoter) Rob Godfrey will have them fired up for it – in fact, the first thing he said after we won up there was ‘we’ve still got to come to you.’

“It’s good to see a top rider like Steve Worrall back in action. I was at Newcastle last Sunday when he put in a few laps so I was always expecting to see him back for this one.

“But although I keep saying it, it remains the case that it’s up to us to be professional and keep doing our jobs. As long as we do that, I’m confident we have enough in the team to get the result we want.

“We all know that if we can get two more home wins this weekend that will be two more matches out of the way and even less time for the other teams to catch us, so that’s exactly what we’re going for.”

PETERBOROUGH: Scott Nicholls, Simon Lambert, Bradley Wilson-Dean, Michael Palm Toft, Ulrich Ostergaard, Emil Grondal, Tom Bacon.
SCUNTHORPE: Steve Worrall, Stefan Nielsen R/R, Aaron Summers, Jake Allen, Josh Auty, Danny Phillips, Gino Manzares.


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