Eastbourne Eagles will continue their quest for a top four finish when they welcome Swindon Robins to Arlington Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
After a three week break Trevor Geer’s men are back in action and will be in hot pursuit of a coveted play-off place against a team they beat 59-34 in Sussex just a month ago.
Before the action gets underway, the Sussex bosses will be sure to honour number one and new breed of Arlington hero, Bjarne Pedersen following his qualification for the 2012 Grand Prix Series last week.
The Dane finished on 12-points, level pegging with Swede and former Poole colleague Antonio Lindback in the Grand Prix Challenge at Vetlanda last Saturday.
Though Lindback was destined to win the run-off between the pair to finish top of the rostrum, Pedersen’s involvement in next year’s World Championship race was assured, his achievement drawing rich praise from Eagles Co-Promoter Mike Bellerby, who proclaimed the Dane as an inspiration, a number one rider and team man who gives everyone confidence.
Indeed Pedersen scored a five ride paid maximum the last time the Robins were in town, Joonas Kylmakorpi also going through the card unbeaten by an opponent on an afternoon when all the Eagles ran rampant against their Wiltshire opponents.
Certainly the Robins will looking to exact a measure of revenge following their unfortunate 25-point humbling by the Sussex men, one that saw them hit problem after problem, not least for former number one and Team GB man, Scott Nicholls.
Once again each team will utilise the Rider Replacement facility, Simon Gustafsson for the home side and Pole Maciej Janowski for the visitors just as before, both riders being absent contesting the second round of the 2011 World under 21 Championship Series.
With Poole now almost mathematical certainties to finish top of the Elite League table, the chase is on to grab the runners up slot, one currently occupied by the Lakeside Hammers. However with the Purfleet club set to contest just one more match, against Birmingham Brummies as the Essex Arena on Friday, the chances are that the position will be taken by either the Eagles or the King’s Lynn Stars in the final reckoning provided that results continue to go to plan.
Under no circumstances will complacency be allowed to set in however, with the Eagles still set to face Coventry no fewer than three times and Wolverhampton twice, the Bees, Belle Vue or even the Peterborough Panthers could still spring a surprise with regard to a top four finish if they can piece together a sustained run of form.
Teams: Eagles : 1. Bjarne Pedersen, 2. Danny King (Guest for Lukas Dryml), 3. Rider Replacement for Simon Gustafsson, 4. Lewis Bridger, 5. Joonas Kylmakorpi, 6. Cameron Woodward (Captain), 7. Timo Lahti. Robins: 1. Scott Nicholls, 2. Rider Replacement for Maciej Janowski, 3. Jesper B. Monberg, 4. Simon Stead, 5. Nicolai Klindt, 6. Sergei Darkin, 7. Cory Gathercole.