Lindgren-Woffinden rivalry will help Wolves, says Kelvin Tatum
Freddie Lindgren and Tai Woffinden will be vital in Wolves' hunt for a play-off place, says Kelvin Tatum.
Last Updated: 02/04/13 1:20pm
Poole stars Darcy Ward and Chris Holder will have something to say about that, but the Wolves' young Grand Prix bikers will be ones to watch this term and their performances will be pivotal in defining where the Midlands side finish in the standings.
Both Lindgren and Woffinden will be trying to be their team's number one but I don't think that will cause any conflict or damage team morale, like we have seen recently in Formula One with Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
In my riding days I vide for top spot with another guy and that competition actually brings the best out of you; it forces you to up your game as you are desperate not to be beaten by a team-mate.
Lindgren and Woffinden, who has begun the season in terrific style, top scoring as the Wolves beat Belle Vue 47-43 away from home on Good Friday, will be backed up by the experienced Pole Adam Skornicki.
The 36-year-old has won Elite League three times, with Wolves in 2002 and 2009, and with Poole in 2008, and if he can recapture the sort of form he has had in previous seasons, he will be a vital cog in the middle order.
I do worry about Wolves down at reserve, though, especially with young Swedish rider Jacob Thorssell, who notched zero points against Belle Vue last week and really lacks experience.
Reserve is a vital position - you can have seven rides in a meeting and take a maximum of 21 points - and the teams that make the play-offs are usually very strong in that area.
Wolves, however, with Thorsell and Sam Masters are not, and I think that could damage their top-four aspirations, though I think they will better last campaign's ninth-placed finish.
Belle Vue, meanwhile, finished rock-bottom of the 2012 Elite League with just 15 points but I expect them to be far more competitive this season after some late squad strengthening.
The Aces have snapped up Magnus Zetterstrom, who is very familiar with British tracks having raced in the Elite and Premier Leagues before for Peterborough, Poole and Somerset, and the international class Matej Zagar.
Those two should make a big impact at Belle Vue, but I think the Manchester outfit will be up against it at Monmore Green on Tuesday evening in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Peter Adams' Wolves squad will be dying to get back on track after their victory at the start of Easter and build on their momentum, because with the weather as it is, you can never be sure of getting a sustained run of fixtures in.
I don't think the home side will have things all their own way, but I would expect them to come out on top and record their second straight win.