Cliftonville manager Barry Gray returns to Warrenpoint Town this weekend (c) Presseye


The Danske Bank Premiership this week sees two teams putting their unbeaten records on the line and another trying to get off the mark in another top weekend of action.

Ards v Coleraine (venue: Clandeboye Park; kick-off: 3pm)

The post Oran Kearney era starts on Saturday in Bangor as the Bannsiders visit Clandeboye Park the game against Ards with an interim management team of William Murphy, Trevor McKendry and Paul Owens. Coleraine start the game second in the Danske Bank Premiership table and the mood in the camp is still positive going into this game with striker Eoin Bradley telling the Cool FM Football Show, they are still confident of challenging for the title.

Colin Nixon takes his Ards side into this game off the back of a well earned point against Linfield in their last game at Windsor Park a fortnight ago, the early season disappointment is behind the County Down side who go into the game on the back of a three game unbeaten run.

Crusaders v Newry City (venue: Seaview; kick-off: 3pm)

Stephen Baxter was pleased with his side’s second half performance in their 4-3 defeat to Queen of the South in their Scottish Challenge Cup game last week, but the focus must return to league action and a required change in fortune for the reigning Premiership champions.

Despite an encouraging start to life in the top flight for Darren Mullen’s Newry City – they still are searching for their first away points of the Danske Bank Premiership season – with back to back four goal defeats to Glentoran and Ards on their travels, it won’t get any easier as they visit Seaview, with the home side looking to get their season back on track.

Institute v Glenavon (venue: Brandywell; kick-off: 3pm)

Michael McCrudden continues to be the talisman for Institute with four goals to date for Paddy McLaughlin’s side. They lost 3-0 to Cliftonville last weekend but will be looking to continue their good form at their new Brandywell base – with three wins and a draw from their first four games in all competitions at ‘home’.

Currently occupying fourth place and just four points off leaders Linfield, Glenavon have an opportunity to keep with the chasing pack on Saturday, they didn’t play last week due to International call ups and welcome back key midfielder Mark Sykes from an impressive performance for Northern Ireland’s Under-21 side in their European Qualifying victory over Spain in midweek. Glenavon drew 1-1 with Glentoran in their last outing a fortnight ago.

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts (venue: Windsor Park; kick-off: 3pm)

David Healy’s Linfield remain the team to beat as they currently top the Danske Bank Premiership by three points over next placed Coleraine. The Blues comfortably dispatched Warrenpoint Town by five goals without reply last Friday evening and return home to Windsor Park tomorrow looking to continue a fine unbeaten run of all seven games to date this season.

Speculation over the Swifts’ manager Rodney McAree will not have aided preparations for this vital Premiership clash at Windsor Park, Dungannon go into this game with only two points on the board to date this season. Dungannon Swifts picked up only their second point two weeks ago against Institute but go into this fixture having never beaten Linfield at Windsor Park in the league since their first meeting back in 2003.

Warrenpoint Town v Cliftonville (venue: Q Radio Arena; kick-off: 3pm)

The pressure continues to stack up on Warrenpoint Town as they go into their sixth Premiership game of the season still looking for their first points. Consecutive heavy defeats to both Ballymena United and Linfield will not have helped morale in the camp as Stephen McDonnell looks for solutions to revive the border club’s season ahead of the visit of Cliftonville.

Cliftonville boss Barry Gray returns to his old club once again, pleased with the reaction his side displayed in their comfortable win over Institute last weekend. That win moved the Reds into the top half of the table as Joe Gormley consolidated his place as the top goalscorer in the league.

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