TWO speedway champions go head-to-head as Oxford Cheetahs face Cradley Heath in a virtual meeting tonight.

Cheetahs legend Hans Nielsen lines up against his arch-rival Erik Gundersen in the clash, which features video footage from four events, at the hosts' iconic Dudley Wood Stadium.

The Danes won a combined seven world championships as they built up a huge rivalry, ensuring this fixture had a real edge when the two teams dominated speedway alongside Coventry Bees in the late 1980s.

Tonight marks the third time Cheetahs have featured on Virtual Skid, following two clashes with rivals Swindon Robins this summer.

It is the brainchild of lifelong Oxford fan Barry Bishop, from Enstone, and he is predicting a memorable contest.

He said: “This week’s meeting is bend-to-bend with superstars and viewers will be in for a real treat.

“The role-call of riders is incredible. The meetings come from 1989 and 1990, when Oxford had the likes of Hans Nielsen, Simon Wigg, Marvyn Cox, Martin Dugard, Andy Grahame and Troy Butler riding for them.

“Meanwhile, Cradley boasted Erik Gundersen, Jan O Pedersen, Simon Cross, Alan Grahame, Greg Hancock and Billy Hamill.

“Both the virtual team managers are extremely passionate about their clubs and they both want to win.”

Cheetahs are managed by fan Stuart Baker, whose daughter is engaged to rider Nathan Stoneman.

Meanwhile, Cradley’s virtual boss is Anthony Barlow, who had a spell in Oxford colours in 1997 and won a World Ice Speedway championship series based in the United States.

The two managers choose from four different options for each race and Bishop expects a large audience after more than 2,000 viewers watched Cheetahs take on Swindon.

He said: “We’ve had such positive feedback to Virtual Skid.

“It produces real excitement, real emotion, real passion, all in a virtual world wonderfully prepared by Andy Hague. It also has an unknown result which is a major selling point.”

The virtual meeting will be shown at 7pm on Speedway Portal’s premier YouTube channel.