PREVIEW: DANSKE BANK PREMIERSHIP MATCHDAY 9

We are back to a full fixture list this Saturday in the Danske Bank Premiership with six games kicking off at 3pm.

Ballymena United  vs  Glentoran

Ballymena United take on a Glentoran side who are still managerless since Alan Kernaghan’s resignation on 30 August. David Jeffrey will be asking his side to inflict more misery on the Glens at the Showgrounds and after an awful first game of the campaign when they lost 6-0, United have become one of the form sides in the Danske Bank Premiership. The Sky Blues lie in third place in the table after last week’s 2-0 win away at Portadown.  The Glens find themselves third bottom after their 3-1 home defeat to the Crues.

Carrick Rangers  vs  Dungannon Swifts

Carrick Rangers are battling for points at the foot of the table but might see this game against Dungannon Swifts as a good opportunity to grab some much-needed points if the results from last season are anything to go by.  Miguel Chines netted four goals in four games against Dungannon with Carrick taking 10 points from a possible 12. However, Rodney McAree has his Swifts side playing well and despite being winless in four, these games were against last season’s top three as well as in-form Ballymena.

Coleraine  vs  Glenavon

Coleraine didn’t fare too well against Glenavon last season, failing to score in all four meetings while losing them all.  However, Oran Kearney’s team look to be a different prospect this campaign only losing twice in their opening seven games and a win against a talented Glenavon side would not be a shock given the Bannsiders excellent home record at the Showgrounds.  Gary Hamilton and Kris Lindsay both saw red last week in their 1-1 draw at Dungannon which sees Glenavon go into this game winless in their last three outings.

Crusaders  vs  Ballinamallard United

Crusaders are formidable opponents for anyone in the Premiership at the minute and are already favourites to lift the Gibson Sup once again come April.  A rare Colin Coates right-footed strike along with goals from Declan Caddell and Jordan Owens saw them take all three points from the Oval last Saturday.  This Saturday Ballinamallard United will be looking to do something they have never achieved before, and that is to come away from Seaview without losing.  In the six times they have met on the Shore Road, the Crues have taken maximum points. The Mallards do come into this game though in a bit of good form themselves after taking maximum points against Ards and Glenavon in recent weeks. 

Linfield  vs  Ards

Few would have thought that Linfield and Ards would both go into this game battling it out at the top end of the table but after Niall Currie’s side’s fantastic start to the season, this game could turn out to be a tougher contest than David Healy would have expected for Linfield.  The Blues are unbeaten this term and have netted 15 times in their last four outings in all competitions conceding just once. They lie five points behind the Crues but have a game in hand.  Ards lost last Friday at Ballinamallard so manager Niall Currie will be asking for a response from his players in what could be his toughest away fixture to date this season.  Fans however should expect entertainment as this game has produced an average of five goals per game in the last seven encounters.  

Portadown  vs  Cliftonville

If Portadown have a bogey team it must surely be Cliftonville.  In the last 10 meetings, Cliftonville have won them all while the Ports have failed to score a single goal.  This is not what Pat McGibbon’s side want to hear as they head into this game on the back to losing their last two Premiership games (to Ballymena and Linfield). One positive the Ports might be able to take is that Cliftonville have been battling for some consistency this season after winning three and losing three of their seven games so far. However, the Reds had a morale boosting 1-0 win last Saturday against a good Coleraine side.

 

Danske Bank Premiership – Saturday 24 September, 3pm

Ballymena United  vs  Glentoran

Carrick Rangers  vs  Dungannon Swifts

Coleraine  vs  Glenavon

Crusaders  vs  Ballinamallard United

Linfield  vs  Ards

Portadown  vs  Cliftonville