The Arena Essex Hammers face the prospect of a difficult Premier League match at their Purfleet Raceway on Friday when the Swindon Robins are the visitors. The Robins are at present in fourth place in the Premier League
and will be looking to move higher up the table by inflicting a win over the Hammers.

The bonus point will be vital and following the two clubs match down at Swindon's Abbey Stadium in June the Robins hold an eight point aggregate lead having won there by 49-41. The Hammers will be keen to improve on their 2002 result against them when the match was drawn.

The Hammers will be operating the rider replacement facility as their inspirational Finn, Joonas Kylmakorpi, will be missing from their line-up as he will be in Norway. He competes in Saturday's final Grand Prix round there as has to be at the official practice on Friday. In addition, Swede David Ruud is still recovering from the vertebra and kidney injuries sustained in a crash whilst racing for the Hammers at Newcastle last month.

Swindon will be licking their wounds following a 50-40 defeat on the Isle of Wight on Tuesday, a defeat that may well prevent them at least claiming the runners up spot in his year's Premier League.

Injuries have hit them hard of late with both Olly Allen (wrist) and Jamie Smith(knee) having had their seasons brought to a premature end with both confirmed non-starters for the rest of the season. Ritchie Hawkins recently announced he was quitting the sport (at least temporarily) and, as such, is technically withholding his services.

The Robins will utilize the rider replacement facility to cover for Smith and have firstly booked in Trelawny's Chris "Bomber" Harris as a guest for Allen.

It looks like being a fiercely competitive match with both sides capable of gaining the win but the Hammers will be determined to take the three league points to enable them to continue their rise up the league table.



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