Basement boys Aces will provide stiff test for Peterborough

PETERBOROUGH return from the recent break in action with a trip to Belle Vue tonight.

PETERBOROUGH return from the recent break in action with a trip to Belle Vue tonight.

The Readypower Panthers have had a period of inactivity since the home win against Coventry two weeks ago, with the Speedway World Cup having to take centre stage last week.

But it’s back to the bread-and-butter of the Elite League as they head to Manchester with the race to qualify for the end-of-season play-offs still firmly in their sights.

The Aces are still at the foot of the table but are a much-improved side from what they were earlier in the season, having kick-started their campaign with a home win over Wolverhampton in June.

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They then gave the Panthers a fright at the Showground, leading by twelve-points in the early stages, but Jan Staechmann’s men staged a dramatic fight-back to eventually win by the narrowest of margins (47-46).

Belle Vue have continued to be competitive in their matches since then, and the recruiting of Artur Mroczka and Ales Dryml has been instrumental in those displays.

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The Aces will be without Russian Renat Gafurov due to a commitment in his homeland, so Adam Roynon deputises, but they are boosted by the return from injury of Patrick Hougaard. The Dane’s campaign has been interrupted by two lay-offs to recover from broken collarbones.

But the Panthers head north knowing they really need a victory to keep their Championship hopes alive.

It’s not an easy fixture by any means though but they are boosted by being able to track a full-strength team.

Michael Jepsen Jensen is back in the UK following what was a hugely-successful World Cup campaign for him. The youngster was in stunning form for Denmark during the tournament – particularly in the Race Off and Final – and was arguably the match-winner as the Danes lifted the Ove Fundin Trophy on Saturday night.

Also fresh from his World Cup exploits is Krzysztof Buczkowski who scored a creditable 11 points for Poland in Thursday’s Race Off. The Poles crashed out of the competition at that semi-final stage so were unable to repeat their gold medal success of the previous three years.

The only change Staechmann makes to his side is a positional one which sees Oliver Allen moving up to the number 2 berth, with Buczkowski going to number 5 to partner the reserves in the majority of his rides.

Co-team boss Staechmann said: “It’s good to get back out there racing as for one reason or another it’s been a stop-start season.

“This is a match we are capable of winning – although it will be far from easy as they are very good on their home track – but we must approach it professionally and go there in a positive frame of mind.

“We are coming into a crucial time of the season now as the Elite League starts to take shape and we need to start picking up some away points again to boost our play-off hopes.

“We go into every meeting looking to win – and this one will be no different!”

BELLE VUE: Rory Schlein, Ales Dryml, Patrick Hougaard, Artur Mroczka, Charlie Gjedde, Adam Roynon, Craig Cook.

PETERBOROUGH: Kenneth Bjerre, Oliver Allen, Michael Jepsen Jensen, Linus Sundstr�m, Krzysztof Buczkowski, Richard Lawson, Norbert Kosciuch.

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