ROBINS skipper Jason Doyle doesn’t expect former club Leicester to be the whipping boys of the SGB Premiership this season, while backing his own Swindon team-mates to spring a few surprises over the next six months.

Doyle and co start the engines on their 2017 league campaign with a trip to the Lions’ den tonight, looking for the early lift of a welcome away win.

Swindon won on one of their two visits to the Beaumont Sports Complex last season, with the home side eventually finishing well adrift of the rest at the bottom of the top-flight table.

But Doyle, who rode for Leicester in 2014 and 2015, anticipates a better showing from his former employers this summer, notwithstanding the changes to the Lions’ home track.

“The team that they had did finish bottom but the team they have this year are not going to be bottom this time,’’ said the Australian ace.

“They are going to be a very tough team to face but we have got to go there and try to grab our chance.

“If we can run them close or even win, it is going to be a great confidence booster in the first part of the year.’’

Grand Prix rider Doyle will be expected spearhead the Robins’ charge, but while concerns have been expressed over the strength of the remainder of the Wiltshire septet, the captain doesn’t share those worries.

“The guys are young and hungry and when I was that age, I wanted to prove a point to the older boys in the team,’’ he added.

“With the team with we have got this year, you can tell from the bikes in the pits, they have all put a lot of money into it, they are not coming here with second-hand stuff.

“They are coming here to win races and do well for the club and this is going to be a good thing for Swindon.

“They have got a lot of drive in them and I think they are going to cause a few upsets.’’

Leicester have been forced into a number of changes for the opener, with skipper Danny King required by Championship side Ipswich and Josh Auty also unavailable.

Former Swindon ace Nicolai Klindt steps in to deputise for King, while another Leicester track specialist, Lasse Bjerre, provides cover for Auty.

The Beaumont Sports Complex has been redesigned around the pits turn, something that Lions boss Jim Lynch concedes is a disadvantage to his side.

“The Swindon riders have a good record at Leicester and for us there is no home track advantage at the moment following the alterations to bends one and two so to start with a win will be just the tonic we need,” said Lynch.

Doyle admitted: “It is going to be a little bit different but I saw some pictures of it on Wednesday from their press and practice day and it looks like the track is not even ready.

“Hopefully we can get there on Saturday and have a raceable track, not like when we went to Poole last Friday (for the Darcy Ward Invitational) and the track was dangerous.

“We want to be riding our bikes to 100 per cent, not pootling around.’’

LEICESTER: 1 Kim Nilsson, 2 Erik Riss, 3 Kacper Gomolski, 4 Lasse Bjerre, 5 Nicolai Klindt, 6 Josh Bates, 7 Danny Ayres.

SWINDON: 1 Jason Doyle, 2 Bradley Wilson-Dean, 3 Adam Ellis, 4 David Bellego, 5 Nick Morris, 6 Emil Grondal 7 Zach Wajtknecht.