Surrey primed to extend their lead at the summit
Leicestershire's fine form set to continue against Kent
Play starts 11am Sunday
After nearly a month away to accommodate the blood and thunder of the T20 Blast, the County Championship returns with today with all 18 counties in action over the next four days.
Five straight victories have catapulted Surrey into the driving seat in Division One as they seek to win a first Championship since 2002.
Four of those wins have come by an innings, and the other was a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Yorkshire. They are 8-15 to consolidate their position at the top of the table against Lancashire.
Lancashire’s ambitions, meanwhile, are much more modest as they attempt to maintaining their first-division status. The Red Rose are just a point above second-bottom Hampshire but have played a game more than those rivals.
Whereas Surrey have displayed the form of potential champions, Lancashire’s recent showings have certainly been that of relegation candidates.
Lancashire have suffered heavy defeats in three of their last four and are unlikely to find much solace at the Oval.
Surrey are a short price for a sixth successive win but with Sam Curran available after being left out for England at Trent Bridge, they should prove too strong for Lancashire.
Leicestershire’s strong run of form appears to have gone unnoticed in Division Two and they could confirm last month’s ten-wicket win over Kent at Grace Road.
Sitting third and fourth in the table, both sides are in the mix for promotion to the top tier and it could be the Foxes who seize the opportunity in the Midlands.
Despite being third in the table, Kent have amassed just six batting bonus points this term and made just 104 and 199 when the sides met last month. Leicestershire will look to expose that fragility again.
3pts 4-9 general
1pt 11-8 Coral, Ladbrokes
Read Racing Post Sport every day for no-nonsense previews and expert sports betting tips
Follow us on Twitter @racingpostsport
Like us on Facebook RacingPostSport