With a full list of fixtures this Saturday we see some interesting ties in match day 13. Top of the table Glenavon host Newry City, Crusaders travel to Ballymena where they lifted the Gibson Cup last season and Linfield travel to Mid-Ulster to face Dungannon. Other fixtures see Coleraine play host to Cliftonville, Glentoran home to Ards and Warrenpoint host Institute.
The Lurgan Blues come into this game high in confidence after 6 wins on the bounce. That tremendous form has put them top of the Danske Bank Premiership table. Gary Hamilton will be warning his troops against complacency in this encounter as Newry ran them close in the previous fixture. Newry will be aiming to try and pick up some form of momentum as they are without a win in 7 games. A tough ask at Mourneview can Hamilton’s men keep this form up?
Crusaders travel to the Ballymena showgrounds where they were crowned champions last season. The Crues poor start to the season has been well documented. Just when they were finding some form, defeat came last Saturday in Coleraine. At this current minute it is hard to know what Crusaders team you are going to get! Ballymena are unbeaten in four games an certainly have nothing to fear here. The previous fixture ended in a 2-2 draw at Seaview and David Jeffrey’s men certainly could of picked up all 3 points. A tough game to call, I am going for a Crues win!
A cracking fixture comes this week at Stangmore Park. Dungannon versus Linfield at Stangmore always produces a cracking game. With Linfield certain to bring a big crowd to Co. Tyrone it has the makings of another great game. The Blues will be keen to bounce straight back to winning ways in the league after a very disappointing defeat last week against Ards. Dungannon picked up a point in Ballymena last weekend and will be aiming to lift themselves off the bottom of the table. A tough ask for the Swifts and I feel Linfield will be right up for this one!
Most definitely the biggest game of match day 13. Rodney McAree will be a relieved man after picking up his first 3 points as Coleraine gaffer last week against Crusaders. This week the Bannsiders welcome the other half of North Belfast to the North Coast. Coleraine have a very impressive record against Cliftonville and will be gunning to continue that record on Saturday. Aaron Burns scored a late winner back in August in a 2-1 victory for the Bannsiders. Cliftonville find themselves in decent form coming into this game and will be aiming to stop their dreadful record against Coleraine.
After a bright start to the season suddenly Glentoran find themselves on the back of three consecutive defeats and in the bottom half of the table. The Glens suffered a tough blow midweek with a defeat in the Toals Co. Antrim Shield to their bitter rivals Linfield. Ronnie McFaul will now have to rally the troops to get back to winning ways. Ards are back in League action with a disappointing defeat to Larne midweek in the Co. Antrim Shield. After last weeks impressive result against Linfield Colin Nixon will be aiming for his side to build some league form on the back of that result. I am going for a Glentoran win in this one!
Its eighth vs ninth in this weekends game at the Q Radio Arena. The Point have found some form despite loosing to Cliftonville last week they bounced back midweek against Newry in the Mid-Ulster cup. Institute have started life back in the top flight pretty well and picked up their first away win of the season last week at Newry. The Drumahoe side will be aiming for the same outcome this weekend to keep the push on to enter the top six.