OXFORD Cheetahs will not fear runaway SGB Championship leaders Leicester Lions tonight (7.30pm), insists Peter Schroeck.

The visitors are ten points clear of second-place Glasgow Tigers, who suffered a thrilling 46-44 defeat at Sandy Lane seven days ago.

Leicester won ten meetings in a row before losing at their nearest rivals on Friday, although they bounced back with a 62-28 thrashing of Birmingham Brummies 24 hours later.

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Nevertheless, Cheetahs coach Schroeck feels last week’s defeat shows the visitors are not unbeatable.

He said: “They’re not daunting – we respect them, same as we did with Glasgow.

“It’s going to be a tough one, but they slipped up at Glasgow so why shouldn’t they slip up at Oxford?

“We can only be in charge of our own destiny, they’re a strong team but so are we.

“We’ve just got to give it our all and try to get in front, get the least last places and keep it nice and close to see where it takes us in heat 15.”

Cheetahs are set to welcome back captain Scott Nicholls, who missed both of last week’s meetings through injury.

Meanwhile, Paul Starke comes in for his debut after the club parted ways with Kyle Newman.

The personnel changes add an extra dimension to the evening and Schroeck expects another thriller – even if Cheetahs are underdogs.

He said: “It was the same with Glasgow, people didn’t expect us to win and we did.

“It was going backwards and forwards, brilliant racing and that’s what’s going to put bums on seats.

“Of course, we want to win all our matches, but we want to produce a good race track, a good atmosphere and so far this season we’ve produced that.

“Everyone loves coming to Oxford, that’s probably not a good thing sometimes, but for the sport you couldn’t get any better.”

Tonight’s fixture kick-starts a run of four successive home meetings, the first three in the Championship.

Schroeck hopes Cheetahs can benefit as they bid to close the five-point gap to the play-off places.

He said: “The boys can get dialled in now, we don’t have to worry about track conditions and track set-ups.

“We can fully concentrate on what we’ve got to do.

“They all know failure’s not an option, we’ve got to have everything right. Hopefully that works in our favour.”