DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP MATCHDAY 29 PREVIEW

The four teams in form in the Danske Bank Premiership meet on Saturday as Warrenpoint Town host Crusaders at Milltown and Linfield welcome Glenavon to Windsor Park.

Just two months ago Warrenpoint Town looked to be relegation certainties but with five wins and three draws in their last nine games Barry Gray’s side are off the foot of the table and are a team to be feared.  Conceding just once in their last six Premiership games the County Down side are proving very hard to break down, but they will face their stiffest test yet on Saturday when Crusaders head to Milltown.  Stephen Baxter’s team sit seven points clear at the top of the league but they will be without defender Billy Joe Burns after his dismissal in their 1-0 in against Cliftonville last weekend.

Linfield welcome Glenavon to Windsor Park with both sides losing just once in their last eight league games.  David Healy’s side simply must win if they are to keep up the pressure on the Crues at the top of the league however a victory for Gary Hamilton would see his Glenavon side close the gap on 2nd placed Linfield to just three points.  The last two meetings have resulted in a 3-2 win for Glenavon and a 4-3 win for Linfield.

Third placed Cliftonville are at Solitude as they face a Coleraine side who are yet to score against the Reds this season after losing 4-0 in August and drawing 0-0 in October. Cliftonville’s slim title ambitions took a knock last weekend as they went down 1-0 at Seaview while the Bannsiders threw a two-goal lead away to lose 3-2 to Linfield at the Showgrounds. However despite Coleraine’s loss of form in recent months a win would see them move to within two points of Cliftonville.

Ballinamallard United entertain Glentoran at Ferney Park knowing that they are in a real relegation battle due to Warrenpoint Town’s recent form. Sitting three points above the foot of the table but having played two games more than bottom club Carrick Rangers, Whitey Anderson must hope that the Mallards can pick up valuable points when Glentoran come to Fermanagh. The Glens have a good record in this game having lost just once in seven meetings and head down the M1 in good form having won their last two league games.

Ballymena United will be hoping that results in their recent fixtures against Dungannon Swifts continue as they meet at the Showgrounds. The side playing at home have won the last five meetings with United winning three of these games including a 1-0 victory in October thanks to a 90th minute David Cushley strike.  However looking at recent form Glenn Ferguson’s team have lost four in a row while the Swifts have taken seven points from their last three outings and a win for Rodney McAree’s team would see them leapfrog United into 8th place in the table.

Portadown are at Shamrock Park for the visit of Carrick Rangers with both sides struggling for form. The Ports have won their last two games against Carrick but have done it the hard way coming from two goals down to win 3-2 with ten men in November while a 90th minute Gary Twigg penalty in October was enough for a 1-0 victory. 

Danske Bank Premiership

Saturday 27th February – 3pm

Ballinamallard United  v  Glentoran

Ballymena United  v  Dungannon Swifts

Cliftonville  v  Coleraine

Linfield  v  Glenavon

Portadown  v  Carrick Rangers

Warrenpoint Town  v  Crusaders