After some eventful midweek contests, this weekend’s Irish League sees exciting match-ups and the return of Linfield to domestic action. Check out ToalsSport’s Irish League Matchday 3 predictions below…
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Both sides enter this game on the back of good results. Cliftonville continued their strong run at home with a 3-1 win over Glenavon, while Crusaders have secured 3-0 and 4-0 victories in their opening two games. Cliftonville have established a pedigree at Solitude under Paddy McLaughlin. Joe Gormley is firing with 3 goals in 2 games so far this season. With these positives, a trip to Solitude is an early test of Crusader’s title-winning hopes. The Crues have already shown themselves to be a well oiled machine this season. Progression through Europe and 7 unanswered goals shows Crusaders have a strong defence and a slick attack. Expect another Gormley goal and a Crues victory in this one.
Prediction Cliftonville 1 – 2 Crusaders
On Tuesday night Dungannon secured a much needed away win at Institute. While characteristic defensive frailties were exposed the three goals converted by Lindsay’s men is a big positive. Dungannon have ammassed a rather impressive 4 points from their opening games against Ballymena and Institute. Mick McDermott’s Glentoran meanwhile have made a stuttering start to the new campaign. A credible 1-1 draw was secured at Glenavon while at the Oval the Glens were forced to recover from 2-0 down against Coleraine to secure a point. Dungannon’s home form gives them confidence in this one, but a leaky defence may cost them all three points.
Prediction: Dungannon Swifts 1 – 1 Glentoran
More misery in store for Warrenpoint here. Despite a dissapointing defeat for the Lurgan Blues at Solitude on Tuesday night, expect a recovery against the League’s bottom side. A comfortable win on the cards here.
Prediction: Glenavon 2 – 0 Warrenpoint Town
An early season basement battle is difficult to predict. Both sides enter the game with two successive defeats, but Insitute will take confidence from their performances at Windsor and Stangmore Park. Carrick will also be encouraged by their battling midweek performance against Carrick. Expect home advantage to be the difference in a close tie here.
Prediction: Institue 2 – 1 Carrick Rangers
A mouth-watering contest as newcomers Larne put their 100% record on the line against Ballymena. Sure to be a closely run affair, Larne’s frontline must deliver a clinical display if they are to collect points here. Ballymena look to be good value at Inver Park here. It’s a toss of a coin but the experience of Ballymena may see them upset the odds here.
Prediction: Larne 0 – 1 Ballymena
A battle-tested Linfield side welcomes a dangerous Coleraine side to Windsor Park. While Linfield will enter this game as favourites, they must guard against weariness and complacency after European success. A 5-3 aggregate victory over FK Sutjeska was a remarkable result for the Blues and has brought them to the Europa League Play-off round. The side will be fully aware however that any notion of overlooking Coleraine will result in a demoralising blow. Rather than acting as a hindrance however, expect the confidence from their European exploits to carry the Blues through here.
Prediction: Linfield 2 – 0 Coleraine