Friday, 30 November 2018
It promises to be quite a weekend as the Danske Bank Premiership offers up a live TV match and a top of the table clash amongst the six games scheduled.
Friday 30 November
Coleraine v. Newry City (venue: Coleraine Showgrounds; kick-off 7:45pm)
Coleraine and Newry City get the weekend underway in front of the BBC Two NI cameras on Friday night.
Both camps go into the game on the back of narrow league defeats a week ago so will be striving to secure the points to end November on a high.
The most recent meeting between the sides ended honours even, although the woodwork was rattled on no fewer than three occasions so there may well be goals in this one.
Saturday 1 December
Ards v. Warrenpoint Town (venue: Clandeboye Park; kick-off 3pm)
Warrenpoint Town will be looking to build upon their recent resurgence with victory over Ards at Clandeboye Park. Stephen McDonnell's side ended November unbeaten, ninth in the table and go into the game on the back of a win over Coleraine last Saturday.
Ards find themselves bottom of the pile after a poor run of form which has produced just one point from their last five league outings.
An Alan O'Sullivan stoppage time winner was the difference between the side in their most recent meeting, a defeat Colin Nixon's men will be no doubt looking to avenge.
Ballymena United v. Linfield (venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; kick-off 3pm)
The top two go head-to-head at The Showgrounds in a game which might well go a long way to determining the destination of the Gibson Cup come the end of the season.
The Sky Blues are unbeaten across all competitions in their last 13 games, winning 12 and drawing just once. Ironically, the last team to beat David Jeffrey's charges were Linfield back in September at Windsor Park when goals from Michael O'Connor and Joel Cooper cancelled out Cathair Friel's early opener.
Linfield dropped points against Warrenpoint Town and Coleraine earlier this month but have roared back to form hitting four goals past both Institute and Cliftonville in their last two games.
Cliftonville v. Dungannon Swifts (venue: Solitude; kick-off 3pm)
Cliftonville welcome Dungannon Swifts to Solitude just 11 days after Kris Lindsay's side dumped the Reds out of the League Cup on penalties at the same venue.
No doubt there'll be a sense of revenge in the air but also a determination for Cliftonville to return to winning ways following recent league defeats to Linfield and Ballymena United.
A recent upturn in fortunes for the Swifts has helped them move out of the bottom two following an unbeaten November which also brought victories over Glentoran and Institute as Lindsay appears to have steadied the Stangmore Park ship following an uncertain start.
Glenavon v. Institute (venue: Mourneview Park; kick-off 3pm)
Glenavon prepare for the visit of Institute to Mourneview Park just two points off the top and with a game in hand.
The Lurgan Blues rediscovered that winning touch last Saturday with a home victory over Ards to end November on a positive note after a disappointing run of results which saw them slip from the summit.
Institute will be hoping to reverse a run of four successive Premiership defeats throughout the month, and will have been encouraged by last week's performance against Crusaders when only a 95th minute winner saw Paddy McLaughlin's side leave empty handed.
Stephen Murray bagged a hat-trick as Glenavon swept to a 4-1 victory the last time the sides met back in September.
Glentoran v. Crusaders (venue: The Oval; kick-off 3pm)
Glentoran will be looking to overturn a poor run of form when they welcome league champions Crusaders to The Oval.
The Glens went the entire month of November without winning any of their six games in all competitions. Indeed, they only picked up a solitary point and have lost ground in their bid to make the top six split.
Crusaders, by contrast, swept aside everything in their path winning six on the bounce, breathing new life into their title challenge and reaching the final of the Co. Antrim Shield.
This will be the third meeting between the sides this season already. Last time out, earlier in November in the BetMcLean League Cup, Crusaders won 4-2 at The Oval whlist, prior to that, they ran out three goals to the good in a league meeting at Seaview.
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