Sheffield Tigers will have guest rider for Belle Vue trip
SHEFFIELD head into a rapid return fixture at Belle Vue on Monday – and their play-off place could be secure by the end of the night.
The Tru Plant Tigers will be assured of a top-four finish if they avoid defeat in Manchester, but regardless of that result their position will also be safe as long as bottom club King’s Lynn lose at leaders Wolverhampton.
With their season therefore almost certain to be extended, the main focus for Simon Stead’s side is on building momentum ahead of a bid for the Premiership title.
Tigers have been impressive in their last two home matches, against Ipswich and Belle Vue, and they ran the Aces close on opening night at the National Speedway Stadium when the match went down to a last-heat decider.
Jack Holder was outstanding on that occasion with 19 points from seven riders, whilst Adam Ellis returns to the venue of his British Championship triumph last month.
Reserve Stefan Nielsen, who was riding far in excess of his 3.00 average, remains on the sidelines with the injuries he received in a crash at Birmingham last week, and former Belle Vue Colts rider Kyle Bickley comes in as a guest.
The Aces expect to have Jye Etheridge back after he missed the trip to Owlerton, but they still have a doubt over Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen at reserve, with the Dane missing his fixture for Berwick at the weekend.
Stead said: “We’ve got to build on what we’ve done over the last two weeks at home, we had a tough spell there for a while but now we’re looking a lot more competitive and confident on our own track.
“Our away meetings have been good, so if we can build on that this week then we can go into the play-offs full of confidence.
“Options for guests for Stefan are very limited, and there are only a handful of riders who are eligible and fit. It’s a big blow for us and for him, and our main concern is that his long-term health is okay.”
Tigers are also on the road this Thursday when they travel to King’s Lynn in a rearranged fixture, and the next home action is against high-flying Peterborough on September 16.
BELLE VUE: Dan Bewley, Jye Etheridge, Steve Worrall, Charles Wright, Brady Kurtz, Tom Brennan, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen.
SHEFFIELD: Jack Holder, Troy Batchelor, Kyle Howarth, Josh Pickering, Adam Ellis, Danyon Hume, Kyle Bickley.