A FOUR-point weekend is what Basingstoke Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard wants to keep the Herd very much in the race for the English Premier League title.

Currently the Bison head the table by a point ahead of last season’s champions Guildford, who have two games in hand.

On paper, this weekend is a tough one for the Herd as they travel to fifth-placed Slough on Saturday night (face-off 6.30pm) and then entertain Milton Keynes Lightning on Sunday evening (face-off 5.30pm).

The Bison will be without recent signing Matt Selby for the weekend, but welcome back netminder Stevie Lyle and leading scorer Greg Owen from international duty.

Saturday’s game is a dress rehearsal ahead of Wednesday night’s cup semi-final, when the Bison face the Jets on home ice looking to overturn a one-goal deficit from the first leg.

That is the only time in five games that Slough have beaten the Herd, and Sheppard is determined that his side return to winning ways against their Berkshire rivals.

“We did not play as well as we can when we were last in Slough and we will be looking to put that right this time,” he said.

On Sunday night, the Bison face Milton Keynes and, having lost the last two encounters away on penalty shots, this one is expected to be just as close.

MK have won their last three games, including a double success over Bracknell last weekend.

Sheppard said: “Milton Keynes are in good form and they play a strong defensive game so it is going to be a close game, but this weekend we have to get four points so we stay at the top.”

The Bison have a special offer for young fans as all under-16s accompanied by a full paying adult can gain entry to the game for just £1.

To make sure you do not miss out, ring the box office on 01256 355266.