Peterborough Panthers need to be at full throttle to beat Ipswich at the East of England Arena

Lasse Bjerre is back for Panthers against Ipswich.
Lasse Bjerre is back for Panthers against Ipswich.
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Team manager Carl Johnson insists Peterborough Panthers can’t afford to have a single weak link on East Anglian derby night (May 13).

The city team entertain Ipswich in an SGB Premiership showdown at the East of England Arena (7.30pm) and Johnson knows a tough challenge is ahead.

Chris Harris rides for Ipswich against his former club at the East of England Arena.

Chris Harris rides for Ipswich against his former club at the East of England Arena.

Mechanical issues and indifferent form have proved costly for Panthers in the early weeks of their top-flight return, but they need all seven men firing tonight.

Johnson said: “Ipswich will provide our toughest home meeting by far and we have to rise to the occasion.

“They have started the season well and have a team packed full of guys who can score highly at our track.

“We cannot afford to carry anyone and one rider under-performing would probably lead to us being beaten.

“We’ve already lost and drawn at home this season and we can’t allow any more points to slip away.”

Panthers are boosted by the return of Lasse Bjerre following a shoulder injury which ruled him out of their narrow 46-44 defeat at Swindon last Monday (May 6).

The Danish rider would also have missed a Thursday (May 9) home flash against Belle Vue had it not been postponed.

The Ipswich side features several riders who have excelled around the big Alwalton track in the past - not least of all former GP racer Chris Harris, who was controversially axed by Panthers during the winter after initially being announced as part of their team for this season.

Harris helped Panthers to do a double at SGB Championship level back in 2017 and is sure to be a major threat tonight along with the likes of former British champion Danny King and Aussie charger Jake Allen, who was been in fine form at reserve.

TEAMS

PANTHERS: Hans Andersen, Lasse Bjerre, Ben Barker, Charles Wright, Rohan Tungate, Aaron Summers, Bradley Wilson-Dean.

IPSWICH: Chris Harris, Richard Lawson, Danny King, David Bellego, Krystian Pieszczek, Cameron Heeps, Jake Allen.