It’s matchday 5 in the Danske Bank: and it’s Linfield who sit pretty at the top and are one of two sides unbeaten. Glenavon, who Linfield beat in matchday 1 have won 3 on the bounce since and lie 2nd. The other undefeated team and last years surprise package Coleraine are 3rd with Glentoran and Crusaders perched at 4th and 5th. This week we have 5 fixtures at the usual time on Saturday and our first televised game of the season on Monday Night between last years title rivals Crusaders and Coleraine. Check out our predictions for the Irish League Matchday 5 below.
Glenavon vs Glentoran: 1-2
The standout fixture from the Saturday game is arguably at Mournview Park between Glenavon and Glentoran. Its been a very happy hunting ground for The East Belfast side over the years. They have played 30 league matches since the turn of the century with Glenavon winning just 3. Glentoran, on the other hand, has won more than half of those games and at odds of almost 4/1
, they are impossible to ignore. Glenavon was beaten at 1/40
in midweek in the League Cup whilst McFall’s men came through a banana skin fixture against Larne in extra time. That game will have been heavy on the legs and whilst Hamilton’s side will be looking for a real response I am going to side with Glentoran. The Belfast side celebrates Elliott Morris’s remarkable 700th game for the club and I believe his heroics will mean the three points go back to the East.
Linfield vs Ards: 2-0
League Leaders Linfield should remain on top come 5 o’clock against an Ards side on the back of a strong win last week. Nixon’s men will be defensively resolute but the blues to win to nil
looks the bet having only conceded 1 goal all season.
Newry vs Cliftonville: 1-3
I would suggest Cliftonville and Both Teams To Score
when they visit Newry. Newry had a deflating defeat to Ards last week and it’s a ground where the top sides will be looking to pick up maximum points. I think they will put up brave resistance but the Cliftonville firepower up front should steer them to victory.
Warrenpoint vs Ballymena: 2-3
Warrenpoint played very well in defeat to Crusaders last week whilst Ballymena suffered their first setback of the season, losing emphatically at Glenavon. Judging by that, Jeffrey’s side could be in for a tough encounter. The 8 top-flight meetings between the sides at Warrenpoint have gone 4-3 to Ballymena with 1 draw so it might not be as much as a banker as some might feel. I am going to predict over 2.5 goals
Institute vs Dungannon: 1-1
The last of the Saturday games are at Drumahoe where Institute host Dungannon. Dungannon has been disappointing so far and they needed extra time in midweek to progress in the League Cup vs lower opposition and have yet to truly find their feet this season. I am not a huge fan of Institute at the price despite their impressive start so I am going to predict a draw.
Crusaders vs Coleraine: 2-1
Lastly, The Sky cameras turn to Seaview for the huge game between Crusaders and Coleraine. The two sides had an epic duel for the title last season and question marks have been raised over Crusaders start to the season. Understandable given the big decision to go full time requires major operational changes but this offers Baxter’s men real impetus to kickstart their season and I predict a late winner for The Hatchet Men against a Coleraine side who have slightly stuttered themselves performance wise in the last few games.
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