Aaron Hogg and Marcus Kane battle it out back in January during the last meeting between Ards and Glentoran at the Bangor Fuels Arena. (c)Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP: MATCHDAY NINE PREVIEW

With both Linfield and Crusaders competing in the Scottish Challenge Cup this weekend and also a number of international call ups for both Glenavon and Coleraine there are only three Danske Bank Premiership fixtures this weekend, but no shortage of top quality action awaits!

Saturday 8 October

Ards v Glentoran (venue: Bangor Fuels Arena; kick-off: 3pm)

Colin Nixon welcomes the club he represented for so many years to the Bangor Fuels Arena, buoyed by a morale boosting win over Ballinamallard United last weekend which moved the County Down side away from the potential relegation places in the leagues standings.

Whilst there will have been a spring in a step of the Ards players this week, the same may not be said for Glentoran after a disappointing showing on Monday night in the first Sky Sports live game of the season, with a 3-0 defeat to Crusaders. The biggest home crowd of the season turned out for Gary Haveron earlier this week and they will be hoping for that support to follow them for the short trip to Bangor as they search to get back on track.

Bet McLean odds: Ards win [19/10], Draw [5/2], Glentoran win [11/10]

Cliftonville v Warrenpoint Town (venue: Solitude; kick-off: 3pm)

Reds boss Barry Gray welcomes his former club Warrenpoint Town to Solitude, with the North Belfast side having enjoyed a fine comeback victory against Linfield last weekend, followed up by a midweek demolition of PSNI in the BetMcLean League Cup midweek.

Warrenpoint manager Matthew Tipton will be wondering where the next win is going to come from, after they missed the opportunity to move out of the bottom two on Saturday with a draw against next placed Carrick Rangers, having been ahead at one stage.

Bet McLean odds: Cliftonville win [1/5], Draw [24/5], Warrenpoint Town win [9/1]

Dungannon Swifts v Ballymena United (venue: Stangmore Park; kick-off: 3pm)

With only one defeat in their last six Danske Bank Premiership games and two credible draws against both Crusaders and Glenavon in the last fortnight – Rodney McAree’s team are one that will prove a stern test for David Jeffrey’s Ballymena United side.

The Braidmen lost the bragging rights in their derby defeat to Coleraine last Saturday and will have to pick themselves up again for the trip to County Tyrone. The two sides last met in the semi-final of the Europa League playoff back in May when the Sky Blues ran out 5-2 winners en route to their playoff victory.

Bet McLean odds: Dungannon Swifts win [13/8], Draw [13/5], Ballymena United win [5/4]