In a rare occurrence for this season we have a full program of fixtures this Saturday. Read ahead for Toals Sport’s Irish League predictions for the coming round of fixtures, and have a go for yourself through our Super Six challenge.
The first of many tight games this weekend. David Jeffrey’s Ballymena’s inconsistency this season sees them lying in seventh position going in to this weekend. Still without striker Adam Lecky, Ballmena are winless in their last three games and have picked up only one home win so far this season. Paddy McLoughlin’s Cliftonville meanwhile currently occupy third place in the league. Four wins from five see them level with Coleraine and just three points off the lead. Cliftonville have one three of their four away games this term and another win may be on the cards. In what will surely be an evenly contested win, Joe Gormley could once again be the difference for the Reds.
Prediction: Ballymena United 1 – 2 Cliftonville
Coleraine made a strong statement last weekend. A 4-2 home victory over league leaders Crusaders (despite suspension and injury concerned) set the league on notice. After a victory at Windsor Park via the same scoreline expectations in the North are rising. Larne will of course be looking to pop the bubble this weekend. While they will bring considerable attacking firepower to the Showgrounds, disappointing results against top-6 rivals suggest Coleraine may once again collect the three points.
Coleraine 2 – 0 Larne
After defeat to a classy Coleraine side last weekend, the league’s pace setters will be desperate to return to winning form at Seaview. An unconvincing win over the relegation favourites Warrenpoint meanwhile will do little to settle the nerves of a Glentoran side still finding its feet. Manager Mick McDermott however will take heed from defensive frailties for the Crues in recent games. The four goals shipped in the last two games will be a concern for the Hatchetmen. The Crues will be set to unleash their firepower, but after an impressive away display against Linfield, a win is not a guarantee.
Predictions: Crusaders 2 – 2 Glentoran
After a disastrous three games Kris Lindsay’s men stemmed the flow of goals with a 0-0 draw to Larne. Welcoming Carrick Rangers provides an opprotunity for Dungannon to get back in the win column here. The Swifts however must be wary of Carrick who performed admirably against title favourites Linfield and won 3-0 away to Warrenpoint. Lindsay will look to rekindle a strong home base at Stangmore. A stalemate could be on the cards here.
Prediction: Dungannon 1 – 1 Carrick Rangers
With a squad now fully back in the swing of domestic action, David Healy has his sights set on reclaiming the ground on the top of the table. Three consecutive wins and clean sheets suggests the champions are building for another title challenge. With various injured players yet to return, Linfield are well on their way to mounting a serious challenge. Glenavon meanwhile have struggled to compete this season. Currently in ninth position with just two wins this season, Hamilton will be desperate to rediscover consistency at Mourneview. An impressive 3-1 win against Ballymena last week came on the back of a strong performance away at Seaview and Glenavon will be encouraged by an upturn in performance. An away trip to Linfield may be a step too far however.
Prediction: Linfield 2 – 0 Glenavon
How to predict this one? The two bottom sides in the league with a single point and six goals between them after six games points toward a low-quality affair. Warrenpoint will be encouraged by their second-half display at the Oval. Both sides will have this one marked as a six pointer however. Fragile defences may give way to floundering forwards here – a high-scoring draw could be on the cards.
Prediction: Warrenpoint 2 – 2 Institute
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