IT’S matchday 12 in the Danske Bank Premiership on Saturday with every team now having played each other once in the opening cycle of 11 games.

Top of the table Crusaders travel to Fermanagh to face Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park. Whitey Anderson will be hoping for a change in fortune against the champions having been resoundingly beaten 5-0 at Seaview in August. The Mallards however are coming off the back of a fantastic win at Windsor Park in the JBE League Cup in midweek, whereas the Crues will be licking their wounds after a dramatic 4-3 extra-time defeat to Institute at home.

Barry Gray will welcome new Linfield manager David Healy to Milltown as the Blues head to Warrenpoint Town. Point have had no luck in the league this season and languish four points adrift of the nearest team but a morale-boosting win away to Portadown in the League Cup will surely instil some believe back into the team.  Linfield are now winless in three games in all competitions and this is something their new manager will put an end to in his first game in charge.

Portadown head to Solitude and their strikers must hate the thought of playing Cliftonville as they haven’t found the net against the Reds in seven meetings. Cliftonville have won all of the these seven games, scoring 14 times and newly confirmed manager Gerard Lyttle will want to continue this run on Saturday.

Coleraine and Dungannon Swifts meet at the Showgrounds with the Bannsiders looking for a repeat of their 3-0 win away at Stangmore Pk earlier in the season. However, the Swifts took six points in their last two visits to Ballycastle Road last season with Andy Mitchell netting in both games.  

Glenavon have beaten Ballymena United in each of their last five meetings including a terrific 7-1 win in August.  Manager Gary Hamilton welcomes Glenn Ferguson’s side to Mourneview Park but knows that the Sky Blues are in much better team now than the opening month of the season.  Eoin Bradley grabbed a hat-trick in the 7-1 win netting £50 for Danske Bank’s charity Age NI.

Glentoran welcome Carrick Rangers to the Oval for the second time in a week after sending them packing with a 3-1 defeat in the League Cup in midweek.  These sides drew 1-1 in August which will be remembered for Marcus Kane’s stunning strike for the Glens.  Eddie Patterson’s side, despite their inconsistency, are arguably in slightly better form than Carrick who have lost their last three games in the Premiership.

Danske Bank Premiership

Saturday 17 October, 3pm.

Ballinamallard United  v  Crusaders

Cliftonville  v  Portadown

Coleraine  v  Dungannon Swifts

Glenavon  v  Ballymena United

Glentoran  v  Carrick Rangers

Warrenpoint Town  v  Linfield