Aaron Burns celebrates his goal the last time Linfield faced Warrenpoint Town at Milltown in March 2016. (c) William Cherry/Presseye


Friday night lights at Milltown and can the Bannsiders keep up their 100% record? We preview this weekend's Danske Bank Premiership fixtures.

Friday 22 September

Warrenpoint Town v Linfield (venue: Milltown; kick-off: 7.45pm)

The Belfast Blues responded in style last week to their defeat to Crusaders, ruthlessly defeating Ballinamallard United at Windsor Park and the champions could still potentially return to the top of the table if results elsewhere go their way. Last time out in this fixture back in March 2016, Healy’s Linfield ran out comfortable 6-2 winners.

Warrenpoint manager Matthew Tipton returns to his former club on the back of four consecutive league defeats after a disappointing start to the season for last year’s Championship winners. A morale boosting Mid Ulster Cup victory against Fivemiletown in midweek sets the border side up nicely for the Friday night fixture.

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

Saturday 23 September

Ballinamallard United v Ballymena United (venue: Ferney Park; kick-off: 3pm)

The Fermanagh side remain the only team in the league without a victory and are rooted to the bottom of the table after a difficult start for Gavin Dykes’ side. That could all change this Saturday depending on which Ballymena United turn up at Ferney Park. Inconsistency has plagued David Jeffrey’s Braidmen to date this season as they were defeated by Glentoran in their last league outing despite the manager being completementary of the overall team performance. The Sky Blues bounced back with a 3-0 win over Championship side Harland & Wolff Welders in the County Antrim Shield in midweek.

Bet McLean odds: Ballinamallard United win [13/5], Draw [14/5], Ballymena United win [3/4]

Carrick Rangers v Cliftonville (venue: Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena; kick-off: 3pm)

Cliftonville manager Barry Gray has been critical of his team’s start to the season after only two wins from seven games following last week’s defeat to Glenavon at Mourneview Park. He will be buoyed by striker Rory Donnelly grabbing his first goal since returning from Gillingham for his second spell at Solitude.

Only two points separate the two sides in the standings, with David McAlinden’s team being praised for some of their early season performances, however Rangers are without a league win in three games and will be looking to continue to pick up points in their bid for survival.

Bet McLean odds: Carrick Rangers win [3/1], Draw [14/5], Cliftonville win [4/6]

Crusaders v Dungannon Swifts (venue: Seaview; kick-off: 3pm)

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter will rue two dropped points against Ards last Saturday in their quest to regain the Gibson Cup, especially after the win against Linfield but will face another tough task with the visit of Dungannon Swifts to Seaview this weekend.

Rodney McAree’s Swifts last week moved into the top half of the table following three wins from the last four games and will look to take confidence from Ards' display at Seaview last week.

Bet McLean odds: Crusaders win [2/11], Draw [24/5], Dungannon Swifts win [10/1]

Glenavon v Ards (venue: Mourneview Park; kick-off: 3pm)

Gary Hamilton’s Lurgan Blues have argubably not got the plaudits deserved for their season to date, but with Andy Mitchell having instantly settled back in at Mourneview Park scoring seven goals in the Danske Bank Premiership.

The game pitches the league’s top scorers against the lowest scorers, but don’t expect this game to be one sided.Ards showed an impressive resilience against Crusaders last week and followed it up with a three goal victory over Larne in the County Antrim Shield.

Both Ards manager Colin Nixon and Glenavon's Sammy Clingan are guests on this week's Cool FM Danske Bank Premiership show, available on our website from 6pm this evening (Friday)!

Bet McLean odds: Glenavon win [4/9], Draw [17/5], Ards win [9/2]

Glentoran v Coleraine (venue: The Oval; kick-off: 3pm)

Arguably the game of the day, as Oran Kearney’s Bannsiders put their 100% record on the line at the Oval against Glentoran. However as the Coleraine boss explained on last week's Danske Bank Premiership Show, there'll be no talk of titles on the Ballycastle Road at this early stage of the season.

Under Gary Haveron, the Glens have enjoyed a fine start of their own Coleraine go into this game with little to fear and will come into this mouth watering tie fresh from last week's win against Ballymena United, having made a full 11 changes for the midweek Shield game against Crumlin Star.

Bet McLean odds: Glentoran win [2/1], Draw [12/5], Coleraine win [11/10]