Action from Coleraine v Glenavon earlier this season (c) Presseye


There’s four big games in the Danske Bank Premiership this afternoon, we look ahead to all the action as it could be all change at the top of the table come this evening!

Ballymena United v Carrick Rangers (venue: Ballymena Showgrounds; kick-off: 3pm)

It’s unchartered waters for Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey who has never lost four games in succession in charge of the Sky Blues and will be keen not to increase that to five today against Carrick Rangers. The injury ravaged Braidmen succumbed to neighbours Larne in last week’s derby clash at Warden Street. United will be without both Adam Lecky and Declan Carville who are suspended.

Niall Currie brings his Carrick Rangers side to Ballymena with nothing to fear, knowing that victory could take them within a point of the Sky Blues in the table. There’s a number of former Ballymena faces in the playing squad, including Mark Surgenor, William Faulkner and Caolan Loughran. Rangers come into this game off the back of a 2-0 defeat to Linfield at Windsor Park.

Cliftonville v Warrenpoint Town (venue: Solitude; kick-off: 3pm)

Paddy McLaughlin’s Red Army march on and welcome Warrenpoint Town to Solitude with only a point preventing the North Belfast side topping the Danske Bank Premiership. Five league wins in a row have boosted Cliftonville’s title hopes, the latest coming away to Glenavon last Saturday at Mourneview Park. Liam Bagnall is out through suspension for the game against his former club.

Barry Gray makes his first return to the Solitude dugout after departing the club in January – he returns as Warrenpoint Town manager in desperate need of league points to kick start the border club’s season. Warrenpoint are still without a point since Gray’s return to the club and have Danny Wallace suspended for this game.

Coleraine v Glenavon (venue: Coleraine Showgrounds; kick-off: 3pm)

The unbeaten Bannsiders keep going and manager Oran Kearney has been rewarded with the NIFWA Manager of the Month Award for Coleraine’s 100% record during October, which also seen them quality for the semi-finals of the BetMcLean League Cup. Stephen Lowry’s double against Dungannon Swifts kept the Bannsiders top of the tree last Saturday in the latest win of their unbeaten run.

Luck continues to escape Gary Hamilton and Glenavon as they go into the trip to the Ballycastle Road with only one win tin their last seven games in all competitions. They lost 4-0 to Coleraine back in August at Mourneview Park, so a massive improvement will be required to move the Lurgan Blues further away from the relegation zone, with the gap between themselves and Institute currently just four points.

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

Sean Connor’s impact as Institute boss has been clear for all to see but they must start turning their commendable draws and resolute performances into victories to move away from the bottom two places in the league. The draw with Crusaders at Seaview last week was the latest point picked up by the team from the North West as they go into the weekend having gone three games unbeaten in all competitions.

Glentoran travel to the Brandywell also in a good run of form – five consecutive victories have helped propel Mick McDermott’s men into fifth in the table and could move third by this evening with a victory on the road with Crusaders and Linfield both not playing in the league. The latest win for the rejuvenated Glens was the 4-0 success at Warrenpoint Town last Saturday.