Swindon Wildcats face a tricky looking weekend in the EPL as they bid to continue their recent good form.
Wildcats, who have lost just twice in their last six games, host reigning champions Telford Tigers on Saturday, before travelling to face Hull Pirates on Sunday.
Player/Coach Aaron Nell is expecting two difficult games: “We’ve had some success against Telford in the last 18 months, but they’ll be keen to prove we’re not their bogey team,” said Nell.
“We’ll need to be very good defensively as a team. Stevie (Lyle) is a big part of that – he always seems to play well against them, but we’ll need to make sure we play well around him.
“Hull are improving every week. They gave us a tough game here two weeks ago and we expect the same away from home. It’s a massive weekend and two wins would put us into a good spot in the run up to Christmas.”
Hull go into the weekend still rooted to the foot of the table, but boosted by some better performances in recent weeks.
After defeating Basingstoke Bison in their last home game, Pirates put up two spirited displays on the road before losing out to Guildford Flames and Telford.
They travel to Basingstoke on Saturday, ahead of their clash with Swindon the following day, and defenseman James Hutchinson thinks they can take points this weekend.
“The young lads are getting better, it’s exciting and fun when we are in games and I’m now looking forward to winning a few more,” he said.
“Bison will be looking for revenge after we got our first win against them last time we met. They were top and we were bottom and that would not have sat well with their coach. I expect them to come out especially hard.
“I think we are a better team than Swindon, so I really think we can win on Sunday at home, I am confident of that.”
MK Lightning will look to improve their fortunes this weekend after winning just two of their last nine games.
Lightning face-off against Manchester Phoenix on Saturday, before making the trip to Guildford Flames on Sunday and forward Grant McPherson is hoping for a return to winning ways.
He commented: “I believe we played well at Basingstoke last week, but Sunday against Sheffield Steeldogs was a massive disappointment.
“We went into the game feeling really good and I think that showed with the first period performance. However, around the 25 minute mark, we got away from our gameplan and they took full advantage of that. To give up a 3-0 lead at home isn’t acceptable.
“Two games, two penalty shot losses is not how we wanted our weekend to go, but we have to pick ourselves up, have a good week of training and come prepared on Saturday against Manchester.”
Basingstoke Bison v Hull Pirates
MK Lightning v Manchester Phoenix
Peterborough Phantoms v Bracknell Bees
Sheffield Steeldogs v Guildford Flames
Swindon Wildcats v Telford Tigers
Bracknell Bees v Sheffield Steeldogs
Guildford Flames v MK Lightning
Hull Pirates v Swindon Wildcats
Telford Tigers v Manchester Phoenix
(Image permission: Arthur Foster)