Peterborough will complete an incredible league campaign on top of the Premiership if they defeat Sheffield live on Eurosport2 on Monday (7.30pm).
The Panthers have been in sensational form over recent weeks, and a series of stunning performances on the road now means they can wrap up top spot with a win from either of their two home matches over a four-day spell.
And whilst that in no way guarantees title glory, it will enable them to choose their opponents in the semi-finals, with the other teams involved being Wolverhampton, Belle Vue and Monday’s visitors Sheffield.
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Wolves looked to have control of first place throughout the summer, but matters suddenly turned in the Panthers’ favour thanks to their dramatic victory at Monmore Green last Monday, when a home win would have resolved the issue in Wolves’ favour.
That left Peterborough needing seven points to overhaul the West Midlands side, and they picked up four more at Sheffield with a 50-40 win last Thursday where the in-form Chris Harris pulled off one of the rides of the season.
It means the Panthers go into the return fixture on a run of seven successive victories, and having rounded off their away schedule with an incredible record of eight wins, one draw and just one defeat.
They will now look to complete the job against the Tigers back at the East of England Arena – and even if that match does not go according to plan, they would have a further opportunity against bottom club King’s Lynn on Thursday.
Harris, who scored 15 points from six rides at Wolves, added 13 from five at Sheffield, including an incredible Heat 13 effort to pass both Tigers top guns Jack Holder and Adam Ellis.
But he’s keen to ensure everyone at Peterborough stays with their feet firmly on the ground as they look to convert a season which has exceeded all expectations into the major domestic trophy.
Harris said: “It was a great team job again at Sheffield, and it does make the next week a bit easier, but the job’s not done yet.
It’s still going to be tough. King’s Lynn on Thursday will want to get the bragging rights, and Sheffield on Monday is going to be another tough one, but the boys are up for it.
"Things are going well at the moment, and when you’ve got that confidence you can pull moves off like that. I feel confident in my bike and in myself, so that’s a big plus."
Peterborough welcome back Rising Star reserve Jordan Palin after a three-week absence due to a collarbone fracture, whilst Thomas Jorgensen guests for the injured Ulrich Ostergaard.
Sheffield name a full-strength top five, whilst injured reserve Stefan Nielsen is replaced by James Wright – ironically the man who lost his team place when Nielsen joined the club in mid-season.
Follow all the action as the Panthers look to finish top, live from the East of England Arena, on Eurosport2 from 7.30pm.
David Rowe
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