Action from last season's meeting between the two sides at the Oval last season. (c) William Cherry/Presseye

GLENTORAN v BALLYMENA UNITED PREVIEW

The Sky Sports cameras return to East Belfast for the third Danske Bank Premiership game to be broadcast live on national television this season with Glentoran hosting David Jeffrey’s Ballymena United.

The Sky Blues historically have had a good record at The Oval, winning on their last visit to Glentoran in December 2016 when Jonathan McMurray’s last minute goal claimed all three points in a comeback victory for United. Honours so far in the two meetings this season have been shared with Glentoran enjoying victory in the league back in September whilst Ballymena United atoned in the County Antrim Shield quarter-final two weeks ago.

Two places and seven points separates the two teams going into this key Danske Bank Premiership fixture with both sides keen not to lose pace in the battle for the top six after an indifferent run of form in recent weeks. Gary Haveron’s side boasted some fine early season form but injuries to key players such as John McGuigan have hampered progress, as they go into this fixture with four defeats in their last five games in all competitions and without a goal at the Oval since mid-September.

The recent Shield win proved a rare high point in an indifferent season so far for the Braidmen, who have struggled for consistency since their impressive campaign last season which seen a top four finish and a League Cup victory. In their last outing the manager bemoaned the defending in a 3-3 draw with Warrenpoint Town at the Showgrounds.

The Winter Ball

Monday night's game sees the launch of the new Uhlsport NI Football League winter ball. This will be the first game of the new luminous ball used across all NI Football League divisions. You can purchase your own ball by clicking here.

Tags:  Ballymena United  Glentoran