Cliftonville take on Glentoran in the Danske Bank Premiership (c) Presseye


There's a full schedule of games in this weekend's Danske Bank Premiership including the live game on BBC Two NI. We look ahead to the weekend's fixtures.

Friday 2 November 2018

Newry City v Crusaders (venue: Newry Showgrounds; kick-off: 7.45pm)

It’s been a difficult week for Darren Mullen’s Newry City side as they discovered the harsh realities of life in the top division. Defeat to Glenavon on Saturday evening left the Mourne men only a point off the foot of the table in eleventh place. To rub salt into the wound they were defeated on penalties by Championship side Portadown and lost a number of important players to injury in that game including Darren King and Conall Delaney.

The Crusaders will have been forced to do a lot of soul searching in the aftermath of their 3-0 defeat to Ballymena United last Saturday. Stephen Baxter has responded by signing the talented Derry City midfielder Rory Hale, who can feature when the transfer window re-opens. The Crues are currently in fifth and already have the advantage of a win over Newry this season, defeating City 1-0 back in September thanks to a Paul Heatley goal.

Saturday 3 November 2018

Institute v Coleraine (venue: Brandywell Stadium; kick-off: 1pm)

‘Stute welcome neighbouring Coleraine to the Brandywell on Saturday with only a point separating the sides in seventh and eighth positions and a victory for Paddy McLaughlin against his old side could allow last season’s Championship winners to leapfrog the Bannsiders and potentially into the top half of the table. The Maiden City based club will have to bounce back from a midweek League Cup hammering from Linfield, as they shipped five goals without reply.

The Bannsiders also exited the League Cup in midweek to Glentoran on penalties to compound a miserable seven days for Coleraine boss Rodney McAree. He could only watch on as Cliftonville came to the Ballycastle Road last Saturday and left with all three points, following a 2-1 win. There was nothing to separate the two sides earlier in the Premiership season, drawing 2-2 at the Showgrounds.

Ards v Dungannon Swifts (venue: Clandeboye Park; kick-off: 3pm)

It may be too early to talk about relegation six pointers but this is a huge game in Bangor on Saturday. Only two points separates the clubs, who will be desperate to move away from the relegation places. Colin Nixon’s side failed to build on their impressive win against Linfield a fortnight ago as they were soundly beaten by Glentoran at the Oval last week.

Dungannon Swifts manager Kris Lindsay is still searching for his first league win at the club, but improved performances in recent weeks against Ballymena United and Linfield. The Swifts were undone in the last minute against the Blues last Saturday having lead through Douglas Wilson’s goal in the first half, they will be looking to move off the bottom of the table with a result.

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

Fourth placed Cliftonville welcome Glentoran to Solitude in a repeat of last season’s Europa League Playoff final. The Reds chalked up an impressive victory on the road last week against Coleraine. The clubs also met on the opening weekend of the Danske Bank Premiership season, with Joe Gormley’s goal proving the only difference in a 2-1 win for the Reds.

It’s been a good week for Ronnie McFall’s men as they followed up their comfortable 4-0 display against Ards with a memorable win in the BetMcLean League Cup against Coleraine on penalties. That win took the Glens into the quarter-finals of the League Cup, but will the heavy legs of 120 minutes against the Bannsiders come into play come Saturday’s trip to North Belfast – they will be looking to stay in the top six, a position they currently are maintaining on goal difference alone.

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town (venue: Windsor Park; kick-off: 3pm)

The Blues are at home to Warrenpoint Town on Saturday, they shook off any blip in form with a ruthless 5-0 win against Institute on Tuesday in the BetMcLean League Cup. This came off the back of their late winner at Stangmore Park against Dungannon Swifts last weekend.

Warrenpoint Town have the formidable task of returning to form after back-to-back defeats to Cliftonville and Institute on the road at Windsor Park. They suffered a 5-0 to David Healy's Blues back in September.