Our Friday night game sees the Sky Blues travel to face Newry City. Ballymena come into this game in terrific form. They haven’t lost a game since late September and if they win this one they can go top! David Jeffrey has really injected a sense of belief and desire into this current Ballymena crop of players.
Newry picked up an extremely valuable three points last weekend at home to Ards. That victory lifted them off the bottom of the table and will be hoping to cause a big upset this Friday night.
However, I can’t see a shock on the cards in this one and I am going for an away win here.
After a stuttering start to the season the Crues they have eventually started to find momentum.
Baxter has rallied his troops and they starting go through the gears. Last weekend they put in a performance that looked like a Crusaders team, where they ran out very comfortable winners against high flying Glenavon. Their three goals weren’t bad either! Stephen Baxter will be warning his squad not to get complacent as we approach a busy time of year.
Institute started the season positively but have hit a rough patch lately. They have lost their last 4 games and will find this one tough to turn that around. A tough away trip to the champions for the Drumahoe men and I am going with a home win.
This could be a very tight affair at Stangmore on Saturday. The Swifts progressed to the semi-final of the League Cup on Tuesday night after an impressive victory over Cliftonville. With the game going to penalties could this play a part in the result of this game? Dungannon have picked up a bit of form again with no defeat in their last four. Kris Lindsay will be keen for his side to keep gaining momentum and start to climb the table.
Glentoran have been on a terrible run of results recently. Two wins in their last 10 games has sent the alarm bells ringing in East Belfast. However, this is a fixture where Glentoran always seem to do well in. Ronnie McFaul will be demanding more from his players as I am sure this is a fixture he is eyeing to pick up 3 points in. A tight encounter predicted I am going for a draw here!
After a nothing performance from Glenavon last week Gary Hamilton will demand a response for the Lurgan Blues. This is a fixture where they are more than capable of bouncing back. If Glenavon are serious about mounting a title challenge this is a fixture they must be winning at Mournview this coming weekend.
Ards come into this one really struggling for form. Since that win against Linfield back in October they have not registered a victory since. However, after seeing Ards displays against the so called ‘bigger teams’ this season they are more than capable of sitting in and grinding out a result. With that being said, it will be very hard for them this weekend against a Glenavon side keen to get back on the board.
This has the makings of a very fiesty encounter. A fixture which always brings tension and drama. With a history of a few red cards and plenty of goals this game at Windsor should be a smasher! Linfield picked up an important three points last week at the Brandywell in a comfortable 4-1 win over Stute. The Blues will be aiming to build confidence going into a tricky Christmas period for them.
‘The Reds’ travel to Windsor in decent league form with only two defeats in their last 10. They have clawed themselves back into a potential title challenge and a victory at Windsor would show how they serious they are to be taken. Barry Gray’s men suffered a shock League Cup exit on Tuesday to Dungannon on Penalties. This could potentially have an effect on their performance this weekend with a few tired legs.
Coleraine fought back with 10-men to draw with Glentoran last week and the signs are there that they’re starting to find their feet under Rodney McAree. These two teams met on the opening day of the season with the Bannsiders winning 3-0. Warrenpoint have shown plenty of improvement since then and have pulled clear of the relegation zone, but I expect them to come away empty-handed from this one.