Wolverhampton and Coventry both face a vital pair of Elite League fixtures this week as they look to improve their disappointing positions in the table.

After their draw at Eastbourne on Saturday, Wolves face in-form Swindon at Monmore Green tonight whilst Coventry are also in hometrack action against Arena-Essex.

Both then hit the road on Wednesday as the Bees travel to Essex for the return fixture against the Hammers, whilst Wolves are at Poole - where they should be highly optimistic of taking the aggregate bonus point following their 18-point win over the Pirates at Monmore a fortnight ago.

Tonight's match against Swindon, though, presents a tough test against a Robins team who have started the season in good form. Top two Leigh Adams and Lee Richardson won the Elite League Pairs at Peterborough over Easter, the Blunsdon club have lost just once in the Elite League this season and they finally ended Poole's two-year stranglehold on the Knockout Cup by removing the Pirates from the competition last week

Once again, the bonus point will be an issue as Wolves were only beaten by six points at Swindon at the end of March. The performances of the teams' respective second strings and reserves will be crucial, especially as Swindon will track several riders lower down their order with little or no experience of the Monmore Green circuit.

There were furrowed brows, meanwhile, in the Coventry pits after a dramatic night of action on Friday when the Bees managed to contrive defeat from a winning position against Ipswich.

Coventry led 37-26 with five heats to go and the Witches had lost Chris Louis with a fractured kneecap after a Heat 3 tangle with team-mate Kim Jansson - but the visitors mounted a fightback which begun with an 8-1 in Heat 11, the tactical ride being used to the full effect as Coventry were hit by a Scott Nicholls engine failure.

But with six defeats in their first seven Elite League fixtures, including three at home, all is clearly not right at Brandon and there is plenty of terrace speculation as to what action may be taken.

Joint-boss Colin Pratt said: "It's very disappointing, especially as we seemed to have got to grips with things at the start.

"I can't pick the riders up, it's up to them to do the job when the pits gate closes."

Wolves came agonisingly close to pulling off an away win at Eastbourne on Saturday before having to settle for a 45-45 draw.

The visitors led by eight points with three heats to go, but conceded 5-1s to top Eagles duo David Norris and Nicki Pedersen in two of the last three heats. Fredrik Lindgren was Wolves' star performer, with two race wins including a brilliant passing manoeuvre on Adam Shields in heat three, whilst Magnus Karlsson also deserved his double-figure score.

Mikael Max was the only rider to beat Wolves asset Nicki Pedersen, out-trapping the former world champion to win heat 11, but Norris remained unbeaten throughout the night.

After the heat 13 5-1 to Eastbourne, it was reserve Davey Watt who gave the home team a chance by overtaking Steve Johnston and Karlsson to win the penultimate race. Norris and Pedersen then completed their rescue act in the last heat.

EASTBOURNE: Nicki Pedersen 14, David Norris 13+2, Davey Watt 8+1, Adam Shields 4, Dean Barker 3+2, Andrew Moore 3, Ulrich Ostergaard 0.

WOLVERHAMPTON: Fredrik Lindgren 11, Magnus Karlsson 10, Mikael Max 9, Ronnie Correy 5+1, Steve Johnston 4+2, David Howe 4+1, Krzysztof Pecyna 2+1.