Fuad Sule (Larne) and William Faulkner (Carrick Rangers) do battle earlier this season (c) Carrick Rangers FC


There may be two big televised games in the Danske Bank Premiership but we preview the four other games starting tonight at Inver Park.

Friday 10 January

Larne v Carrick Rangers (venue: Inver Park; kick-off: 7.45pm)

There’s an East-Antrim derby at Inver Park tonight as Larne host Carrick Rangers in the Danske Bank Premiership. The Invermen chalked up a high scoring eight goal win against Belfast Celtic in the Irish Cup and will be looking for more goals as they look to move closer to the top five title chasers. Tiernan Lynch’s men are currently in sixth place in the table and said goodbye to defender Shane McEleney today, as he moved to Finn Harps.

Rangers were also on song in the Irish Cup, winning 3-1 against Ards last Saturday – Niall Currie’s men have the chance to jump two places into seventh with a win tonight against their rivals. Goalkeeper Harry Doherty has been recruited to replace the injured Aaron Hogg for the remainder of the season and another clean sheet like when these two clubs met last on Boxing Day would be another boost to hopes of top-flight survival this season.

Saturday 11 January 2020

Dungannon Swifts v Ballymena United (venue: Stangmore Park; kick-off: 3pm)

The last minute winner from Michael Carvill in the Irish Cup game against Institute could be the catalyst for renewed optimism at Stangmore Park as 2020’s league campaign continues. The Swifts occupy tenth spot and without a win in five league games, have dropped within five points of being dragged into the relegation zone. Captain Seanan Clucas begins a six game suspension and will be unavailable for Kris Lindsay’s side on Saturday.

David Jeffrey’s Ballymena United came from behind when these sides last met to win 3-2 at the Showgrounds last month. A similar three points would be a big boost to the Sky Blues who endured a fruitless festive period in the league, losing to Coleraine, Glentoran and Larne. Goals from Declan Carville and Cathair Friel were enough to overcome Crumlin Star in the Irish Cup last Saturday as the Braidmen set up a sixth round tie with Warrenpoint Town. They have striker Adam Lecky suspended for the final game of his three match ban.

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

Rhys Marshall bode farewell to the Mourneview Park faithful last Saturday, as Gary Hamilton’s men bowed out of the Irish Cup to Coleraine. Marshall moves to Shamrock Rovers ahead of the new League of Ireland season but debuts for Dylan Davidson and Greg Moorhouse mark the start of a rebuild of Glenavon’s squad for the struggling Lurgan Blues who start the weekend in seventh place.

Niall Grace played his last game for Institute as he was transfer listed and susquently signed for Bonagee United as he was about to start a six game ban, Gareth Brown also starts the first of half a dozen games out suspended for Sean Connor’s side. ‘Stute are without a win in eight games in all competitions and have already been defeated by opponents Glenavon in both the Premiership meetings to date this season.

Glentoran v Warrenpoint Town (venue: The Oval; kick-off: 3pm)

It took penalties to ensure Glentoran’s passage into the sixth round of the Irish Cup against Championship side Portadown on Saturday past. Despite making hard work of the Ports, it keeps Mick McDermott’s run of nine games unbeaten intact as Glentoran continue to soar up the table and are now only three points off the lead. They have beaten Warrenpoint Town twice already this season but will have to do it this Saturday with the suspended Paul O’Neill.

Warrenpoint Town manager Barry Gray has had a busy week in the transfer market bringing in Colm Deasy (Finn Harps), Ryan Swan (Bohemians), Stuart Hutchinson (PSNI) and Kealan Dillon (Drogheda United) to add some much needed experience to his young squad for the relegation run-in. ‘Point were boosted by victory against PSNI in the Irish Cup on Saturday at Milltown.