Race-rusty King’s Lynn Stars face daunting trip to unbeaten reigning champions Poole Pirates
Race-rusty King's Lynn Stars will need to hit the ground running tonight as they face a daunting return to action, weather permitting, at unbeaten Poole Pirates.
Reigning Elite League champions Poole have continued their sensational form this campaign and sit handsomely at the top of the table – six places above the Stars.
Neil Middleditch's Pirates – the only outfit not to have tasted defeat so far during a rain-blighted season – have looked unstoppable with Australian 'Turbo Twins' Chris Holder and Darcy Ward leading from the front.
And even though Lynn's equally impressive heat leader, number one Niels-Kristian Iversen (third), sits just behind the pair in the league's average, the odds are stacked against Rob Lyon's side this evening.
The Stars haven't ridden since their 49-43 home defeat to Lakeside Hammers on May 30 because their last three meetings have been postponed.
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Their away form hasn't been overly impressive either with just one victory, at Belle Vue, and one other points-scoring meeting, at Coventry. Poole have only dropped points at their Wimborne Road track to fellow title-contenders Lakeside and Swindon Robins, two sides who have already beaten Lynn this season.
However, World Under-21 champion Maciej 'Magic' Janowski, who denied Ward a third consecutive title last year, could be the Stars trump card this evening, according to Lynn co-promoter Jonathan Chapman.
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He said: 'It's going to be a very tough meeting but we'll try and make it hard for Poole.
'Call-offs have made it difficult to get our momentum going but a lot of our riders have been racing abroad and many have done well round Poole's track.
'Magic did really well around there in the Under-21 championships and ended up beating Darcy to the title. So we can do it, everybody just needs to put in a decent performance.'
Mateusz Szczepaniak returns to his former club at reserve for Lynn after he was released by Poole earlier this season because the club couldn't accommodate his average.
Poole, who had their victory at Peterborough reduced on appeal due to the ineligible use of guest Ty Proctor which saw them lose a league point, make one change from that team that beat Swindon. Ludvig Lindgren replaces Sam Masters who has been carrying an injury of late.
Poole: (From) Darcy Ward, Chris Holder, Adrian Miedzinski, Dennis Andersson, Ricky Kling, Ludvig Lindgren, Todd Kurtz.
King's Lynn: 1 Niels-Kristian Iversen, 2 Daniel Nermark, 3 Maciej Janowski, 4 David Howe, 5 Mads Korneliussen, 6 Mateusz Szczepaniak, 7 Kevin Wolbert