Swindon bid to kick-start their Premiership campaign when revitalised King’s Lynn visit the Abbey tonight (7.30pm).
The CFS Filtration Robins are playing catch-up in terms of fixtures and have also undergone several recent changes in their lower order.
They face a Stars side boosted by the high-profile signing of former British Champion Craig Cook in the second heat-leader berth as he teams up with current national title holder Robert Lambert.
Ironically Cook and Lambert are part of Robins boss Alun Rossiter’s Speedway of Nations trio with GB – but on Thursday they are very much in opposition for the Swindon manager.
Cook’s debut for the Stars resulted in a 13+1 haul in their 52-38 win over Wolverhampton, whilst the Robins have been inactive since their bruising Bank Holiday encounters with Poole.
Since those meetings, reserve Zach Wajtknecht has stood down from his team place, electing to take a break from the sport and hopefully regain confidence on grasstrack and longtrack.
Rossiter is considering his options for a replacement, with Glasgow’s Paul Starke coming in to guest against King’s Lynn.
Said Rossiter: “I’m disappointed for Zach, but I do understand his decision. This league is tougher than ever at reserve, although I did feel he would be able to pick up points given the way he came on over the last couple of years.
“He’s told me he feels he was letting the team down, which he doesn’t want to do, and we respect his wishes and wish him well.
“We know what we have to play with under the June averages, and we’ll take a decision on that over the coming days.”
Elsewhere in the Swindon team, Rasmus Jensen makes his official debut after his stunning appearance as a guest last Monday, but the Robins are still without Tobiasz Musielak.
The Pole crashed at Poole and injured the opposite shoulder to the one which had previously ruled him out, and he has been advised to sit out this week’s racing.
Swindon will operate the rider-replacement facility, giving extra rides to all except captain Jason Doyle, with the riding order re-jigged to place Musielak at No.2.
Rossiter added: “King’s Lynn are a stronger side with Craig in the line-up and I’m sure he’s got a point to prove to people in the Premiership, although not to me – I am pleased to see him back in the top league.
“This will be another tough meeting, and especially with us being a man down we need everyone to contribute.”
SWINDON: Jason Doyle, Tobiasz Musielak R/R, Rasmus Jensen, Adam Ellis, Troy Batchelor, Ellis Perks, Paul Starke.
KING’S LYNN: Robert Lambert, Michael Palm Toft, Ty Proctor, Thomas Jorgensen, Craig Cook, Simon Lambert, Lewis Kerr.