King’s Lynn ready for Elite League derby test

Three-time world champion and ex-King's Lynn Stars ace Nicki Pedersen returns to the Norfolk Arena tomorrow night as domestic duties resume.

Pedersen will lead the Peterborough Panthers on the short trip along the A47 to Saddlebow – a little over three weeks after a thrilling clash at the East of England Showground where the Stars picked up a well-deserved away point after a narrow 48-45 defeat.

The Stars are still sitting comfortably in third place in the Elite League table after their mid-season break, although a win against the Panthers tomorrow will move them up into second spot.

Joining Danish star Pedersen is another former King's Lynn Star, Troy Batchelor.

The Panthers have two very fast Polish riders, Norbert Kosciuch and Krzysztof Buczkowski, riding at numbers two and five, but Linus Sundstrom will be riding in his national championship so the visitors will be operating rider replacement in his place.

It's at reserve that the Panthers have pulled off a master stroke, by booking the very fast Kozza Smith – a former King's Lynn favourite – as a guest for Polish rider Kacper Gomolski, who has a broken collarbone. Joining him at reserve is the highly rated British newcomer, Richard Lawson.

Lynn, in contrast, will be at full strength after Lasse Bjerre declared himself fit – much to the delight of team boss Rob Lyon, pictured.

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'Obviously it is a real boost to be able to put out our strongest team,' he said. 'I was worried that Lasse would be out for the rest of the season, but obviously he is a young lad and is fearless and full of enthusiasm.

'With new averages coming into effect for him and Tomas it means they effectively swap positions and I believe this will make us even stronger and also give Tomas the confidence boost that he needs.'

Stars promoter Keith Chapman believes his team can overcome their closest Elite League rivals.

'Peterborough have a very strong team with riders such as Nicki, Troy and Kozza all having lots of experience around King's Lynn, so I expect a really tough meeting,' he said. 'But I know that our team is capable of pulling off win, and all three points is what will be going for.'

• Gates open at 6.30pm, 7.30pm, first race 7.45pm. Tickets prices: Adult �15, concessions �12, juniors (12-15) �5, 11 and under free.

• King's Lynn: 1 Kenneth Bjerre (9.13), 2 Lasse Bjerre (5.12), 3 Olly Allen (6.00), 4 Mads Kornelliusen (6.85), 5 Neils K Iversen (7.54), 6 Fillip Sitera (3.00), 7 Tomas Topinka (3.35). Total: 40.99.

• Peterborough: 1 Nicki Pedersen (10.46), 2 Linus Sundstrom R/R (6.29), 3 Norbert Kosciuch (4.28), 4 Troy Batchelor (7.36), 5 Krzysztof Buczkowski (5.90), 6 Kozza Smith (g, 4.00), 7 Richard Lawson (3.15). Total: 41.44.