THE Isle of Wight Wightlink Warriors speedway team will be facing a tough challenge from the high-flying Eastbourne Eagles in the National League at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium, Ryde, this evening (Thursday).
After last week's home defeat, the Warriors face another stiff contest, with the Eagles regarded as one of the division's top teams and tipped to make the end of season play-offs.
Until recently, it was former Warriors favourite Mark Baseby who was leading the visitors charge, but a recent accident has almost certainly seen his season ended by a badly broken arm.
The Warriors will hope the return from illness of team skipper James Cockle will be the spark needed to ignite his side and see the Warriors gain only their fourth league win of the season.
One Warrior with a point to prove will be Connor Coles. Having started the season as an Eagle, his time in Sussex was terminated when the Eastbourne management opted for a team restructure.
Co-promoter, Barry Bishop, said: "The fixture list has dealt us a really tough finish at home, with nearly all the play-off challengers visiting the Island during the run-in.
"This week's visitors have maintained their push towards the top of the table, despite having several injuries and absences, and there is no doubt they will come here gunning for a win to keep the play-off push on track.
"However, I know that if the Warriors apply themselves in the right way, they can cause a surprise. Win, lose or draw, it will be another great night of family fun for the last week of the school summer holidays."
Gates open at 5.30pm, with open pit access between 5.45pm and 6.15pm, rider parade at 6.45pm and first race at 7pm.
Warriors team to face Eastbourne: Ben Wilson, Chris Widman, James Cockle, Scott Campos, Connor Coles, Jamie Sealey, Adam Portwood.