WORKINGTON v PANTHERS, PREVIEW

Thursday September 13, 2018
PLAY-OFF qualifiers Peterborough head to Workington on Friday (7.30pm) with another target – to make sure of top spot in the Championship.

The T.Balfe Construction Panthers currently head the table, which would give them choice of opponents in the semi-finals, but there are a whole host of fixtures to complete prior to Sunday’s cut-off.

The Comets themselves are one of the sides who could overhaul the Panthers, should they win on Friday and then be successful at Newcastle on Sunday.

Lakeside, who Panthers race at Rye House on Saturday, have three home matches in the space of just over 24 hours which could see them equal Peterborough’s current 41-point total, with a superior race points difference.

That means Panthers will realistically need at least a point from either meeting, whilst a win should be enough to guarantee top place unless Glasgow pull off two big away wins at Ipswich and Lakeside.

Preparations for the weekend have been complicated by the injuries to Scott Nicholls and Tom Bacon, with guests required at either end of the team.

Bacon is definitely out for the season having had surgery on back injuries, whilst Nicholls hasn’t totally given up on returning in 2018 depending on the extent of ligament damage to his ankle.

Ben Barker and Coty Garcia come in as guests for Nicholls and Bacon, whilst there is a third absentee for this weekend for a totally different reason – skipper Simon Lambert, who gets married on Saturday, and is replaced at Derwent Park by Jordan Stewart.

The Comets are without their own long-term injury victim Dan Bewley, and bring in Tero Aarnio to guest, with rider-replacement in operation for Ty Proctor who is also ruled out.

Panthers manager Carl Johnson said: “We’d very much like to finish top of the table although obviously we’ve had to make a few changes.

“There’s no doubt the injuries have been a blow. Scotty openly admitted to us that he was coming good just at the right time, which is what you want, so it’s really unfortunate, and Tom is a massive loss too as he’s won us meetings at reserve.

“Obviously Simon has his big day on Saturday so we’re missing three of our regulars, but the other lads will all dig in and show their character.

“Workington is a hard place to go but I’m sure we’ll give it our all, and we always look for at least a point.”

WORKINGTON: Nicolai Klindt, Rasmus Jensen, Tero Aarnio, Rene Bach, Ty Proctor R/R, Kyle Bickley, Mason Campton.
PETERBOROUGH: Ben Barker, Emil Grondal, Bradley Wilson-Dean, Michael Palm Toft, Ulrich Ostergaard, Jordan Stewart, Coty Garcia.


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