BULLISH promoter Matt Ford reckons Pirates have the edge over Wolverhampton ahead of the teams' SGB Premiership Shield double-header.

However, Ford admits opposite number Chris Van Straaten would probably feel Wolves were best placed to triumph.

Wolves dumped Poole out of last season's play-offs before going on to defeat Belle Vue in the final.

Speaking ahead of tonight's first leg at Monmore, Ford told the Daily Echo: "Wolverhampton have kept three of their top four from last season in Freddie Lindgren, Jacob Thorssell and Sam Masters.

"Our one-to-seven is a match for theirs. If anything, I think we've got the edge but I'm sure Chris Van Straaten would say the same thing.

"They are going to be hard to beat again, that's a certainty. But so are we."

Kyle Newman has failed to recover from the shoulder problem he sustained in the Darcy Ward Invitational but could feature in the return leg on Wednesday.

Pirates will use rider replacement with Jack Holder and reserves Nicolai Klindt and James Shanes able to take extra rides.

The hosts will be without Adam Skornicki due to a shoulder injury. The Pole is aiming to return for the second leg.

Wolves (from): Freddie Lindgren, Kyle Howarth, Adam Skornicki r/r, Jacob Thorssell, Sam Masters, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.

Pirates (from): Krzysztof Kasprzak, Jack Holder, Brady Kurtz, Kyle Newman r/r, Hans Andersen, Nicolai Klindt, James Shanes.