After a dramatic interlude for the Toals County Antrim Shield the Irish League is back in full swing. Read on for Toals Sports Irish League Matchday 12 predictions.
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These two sides meet for the second time this week after a ding-dong encounter at the Oval on Wednesday night. Glentoran edged the battle on Wednesday as forward Darren Murray struck the decisive goal seven minutes into extra time to secure the 3 – 2 win. This is sure to be a similarly exciting contest in front of the cameras on Friday evening. Goals look to be the order of the day once again. Two similarly matched teams come head to head and a repeat of the 2 – 2 draw in normal time from Wednesday night may be on the cards once again.
Prediction: Larne 2 – 2 Glentoran @10/1
The first of two huge games for Niall Currie’s men as they face both Dungannon Swifts and Warrenpoint Town in the coming fixtures. Currently on a four game losing streak, Rangers must begin to address their results or face a closing of the gap from the teams below. Carrick Rangers fans will be conscious that recent weeks have seen games against Linfield, Coleraine and Glentoran in recent weeks. Dungannon meanwhile, after threatening a return to form, have instead returned to defensive frailties and poor results. A disappointing collapse at Warrenpoint will give the largest cause for concern, Kris Lindsay will be desperate to avoid a similar lack of concentration on the road again here. As two struggling teams meet, a draw seems a likely result here.
Carrick Rangers 2 – 2 Dungannon Swifts @9/1
A huge game in store at Seaview this Saturday. After an ultimately comfortable home win against the Crues in September, Oran Kearney brings the Bannsiders to Belfast just three points of the summit. Currently unbeaten this season, Coleraine are looking to turn draws in to victories and turn a two-horse race into three. Crusaders meanwhile after two difficult trips to Ballymena will be relying on their strong home form to maintain their lead. The league’s best attacks clash here, but expect defense to be the decisive factor. A third draw of the day could be likely here.
Crusaders 1 – 1 Coleraine @13/2
Paddy McLoughlin’s Cliftonville travel to the north-west and the club where the manager made his name. Since the manager’s departure, his former club has struggled for form while the Reds currently lie in third place, just four points off the top. Dangerous up top and strong at the back, only one result can be expected at full-time on Saturday.
Prediction: Institute 0 – 5 Cliftonville @22/1
In what would usually be a tight affair, the recent league form of Linfield suggests another win for the south Belfast side. Three-nil, four-nil and seven-nil wins for David Healy’s men suggest another goal-fest could be in store at Windsor this weekend. Former Blues boss David Jeffrey will take encouragement from his side’s resolve against Crusaders in their last two games, as well as the return of Cathair Friel to fitness. A Linfield win looks likely here, but they may not find it as comfortable as recent victories.
Prediction: Linfield 3 – 1 Ballymena @9/1
Bottom club Warrenpoint welcome an under-performing Glenavon to Milltown this weekend. After an encouraging 4 – 3 victory over Dungannon, the team was easily brushed aside by a dominant Coleraine outfit. Gary Hamilton’s side meanwhile return to domestic action following their exit from the Scottish Challenge Cup. In what is expected to be a low quality affair, Glenavon should have too much for Warrenpoint on the day.
Warrenpoint 0 – 2 Glenavon @19/2
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