PREVIEW: BETMCLEAN LEAGUE CUP ROUND 2

The big guns enter the BetMcLean League Cup tonight as we preview all the second round fixtures this week.

Four teams progressed from round one back on Saturday 10 August and that means Ballyclare Comrades, Loughgall, HW Welders and PSNI join the party.

Last season’s BetMcLean League Cup winners Linfield have seen their trip to Ballinamallard United postponed due to their progress in the UEFA Europa League. The Blues travel out to Azerbaijan today (Tuesday) meaning their League Cup second round tie will be rescheduled at the next availability.

Ballymena United – finalists the last two seasons in succession take on Newington at the Ballymena Showgrounds. David Jeffrey’s men will be looking to pick themselves up after their late defeat to Glentoran on Saturday in the Premiership against the North Belfast club who are two divisions below them.

In arguably the pick of the ties, Mick McDermott’s Glentoran host Ballyclare Comrades at the Oval. The rejuvenated East Belfast club will be hoping to bag their first League Cup since 2010 – starting tonight against Stephen Hughes’ Comrades.

Moyola Park host Cliftonville in what is arguably one of the oldest running fixtures in Irish Football, a game which dates back to 1880. Bangor return to the competition after two years and they are rewarded with a home tie against Carrick Rangers.

There are home games for many of the Premiership sides against lower division opposition from the seeded draw – Coleraine v Annagh United, Dungannon v Dergview, Glenavon v Portstewart, Warrenpoint Town v HW Welders and Larne v Lisburn Distillery.

In the other games Championship leaders Dundela host Tobermore United, Ards make the long trip to Limavady United, Loughgall host Newry City and Portadown take on Dollingstown at Shamrock Park.

On Wednesday evening, Institute host PSNI for a spot in the last sixteen of the competition in the only remaining fixture scheduled for this week.

Crusaders have received a BYE into the third round following Lurgan Celtic’s withdrawal from all NIFL competitions earlier this month.