FORMER national boss Neil Middleditch reckons Team GB’s best chance of reaching the Speedway World Cup final lies with success in tonight’s qualifying event at King’s Lynn (7pm).

Alun Rossiter’s team take on Darcy Ward’s Australia, Greg Hancock’s United States and Italy at the Norfolk Arena, with the winning team joining hosts Poland at August’s final in Bydgoszcz.

The second and third-placed teams will join their event two counterparts in a race off for the last slot at the end of the month, but Middleditch warned that emerging from that lottery would prove a far trickier prospect than getting through first time.

Middleditch told the Daily Echo: “The Australians might just have the upper hand but a home crowd is always worth a few points and there is every possibility that Team GB can get straight through to the final.

“The race-off is tough and can sometimes be harder than the final. You really don’t want to take that route if you can help it because you might end up facing the likes of Denmark and Sweden.

“At King’s Lynn, the Brits and the Aussies will be the main contenders so they have to go all out to get the job done.

“Although Greg Hancock and Ricky Wells might prove to be huge spoilers for the Americans, it is likely to be a two-horse race because, without disrespect, I don’t think too many people are expecting much from the Italians.”

Australia could be boosted by the return of former Pirate Chris Holder, who has been out injured since last month.