PREVIEW: BALLYMENA UNITED v LINFIELD (LIVE ON BBC TWO NI)

The destiny of the Danske Bank Premiership title could take a huge step to being decided tonight as Ballymena United host Linfield at the Showgrounds LIVE on BBC Two NI (kick-off: 7.45pm)

The first of the ‘post-split’ fixtures in the league kick off tonight as David Jeffrey and his second placed Sky Blues look to throw one last spanner in the works of the Linfield title challenge.

It had previously looked like this game would be a straight shoot-out for the league going into the final four games thereafter, but recent defeats for Ballymena United against Glentoran and Warrenpoint Town, the light is slowly flickering out on the opportunity for a first Gibson Cup at the Showgrounds.

Those results have allowed David Healy to open up a nine point gap at the top of the Premiership table with fifteen points left to play for. A win at Warden Street tonight would mean that only a point would be required to clinch a 53rd Irish League title for Linfield.

The Blues produced a comfortable five goal performance in their last outing against Dungannon Swifts last month. They have won three of their last four league games since defeating Ballymena in consecutive weeks in February.

There is no suspensions for either team, however Ballymena United will be without James Knowles, Caithair Frield and Ryan Harpur through injury, whilst goalkeeper Roy Carroll remains out long term for the visitors. Meetings this season

These two sides have gone toe-to-toe all season and this will be the sixth and final meeting of the campaign. Linfield have come out on top of four of the five encounters, most notably in the BetMcLean League Cup final in February as they claimed their first League Cup trophy in eleven years.

The Sky Blues won a crucial Premiership encounter in December which sent the Sky Blues to the top of the table over Christmas.

Match Officials

Andrew Davey takes charge of this Danske Bank Premiership encounter with David Anderson and Adam Jeffrey as his assistant referees. The fourth official is Tony Clarke.

Coverage

Coverage starts on BBC Two NI from 7.30pm and is also accessible through the BBC Sport website, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport app.

Tickets

Tickets are required for Ballymena United supporters only and can be purchased outside of the ground. Pay at the gate will be available for visiting Linfield fans with admission priced at £11 for adults and £8 concession.

For all the latest news from the NI Football League subscribe to our online newsletter by clicking here.

Tags:  Ballymena United  Linfield