Mark Loram will spearhead Eastbourne Eagles' bid to reach the semi-finals of the British League Cup at Sheffield tonight.

The former world champion rides at No. 1 in a horses-for-courses line-up which Eagles hope will set them up for victory in the return leg at Arlington Stadium on Saturday.

Eastbourne boss Jon Cook said: "We are taking a tactical team to Sheffield because we think the riders we have named will be better equipped for big-track racing."

Eagles also include Dean Barker, Joonas Kylmakorpi and Adam Shields, but there is no place for David Norris, who will return in place of Loram at Arlington.

Eastbourne have been forced to leave out Norris and Ulrich Ostergaard to stay below the 36-point limit for the competition, while Peter Ljung is still recovering from an injury sustained in Poland.

Eagles, however, plan to bring in Ljung and reinstate Ostergaard on Saturday.

Cook said: "We are taking nothing for granted because the cup is very important to us now. If we can keep the score close at Sheffield, something like six to ten points, then I am confident we can get through at Arlington."

Cook is banking on his top four of Loram, Barker, Kylmakorpi and Shields to score enough points tonight to hold up the Premier League big guns on their own track, but he concedes Sheffield will be no pushover.

"Sean Wilson is a quality rider and they will be a real handful at Arlington."

Tonight's teams: Sheffield: Sean Wilson, Ross Brady, Ricky Ashworth, Andrew Moore, rider replacement, Jamie Birkenshaw, Richard Hall.

Eastbourne: Mark Loram, Buzz Burrows, Dean Barker, Joonas Kylmakorpi, Adam Shields, Matt Read, Joel Parsons.