Linfield return to action at Windsor Park when they entertain Crusaders FC on matchday nineteen of the NIFL Danske Bank Premiership (3pm ko). The teams met earlier in the season at Seaview when the Blues won 2-0.
On Tuesday night Linfield edged their way into the semi-final of the League Cup after defeating Portadown (2-1) at a bitterly cold Shamrock Park. After taking an early first half lead through Michael O'Connor, the Blues looked comfortable in possession and in moving forward to exert pressure on the Portadown defence. After the interval break though, the Ports played their way back into the tie with an equaliser scored by Carmichael. The dynamic of the game now changed, as Linfield seemed to take the foot off the gas, as they were unable to find a second goal, coming close though through a Niall Quinn free kick crashing back off the bar and a Stafford header coming back off the post. With time running out, Jordan Stewart fired home from close range to the relief of the travelling Linfield supporters. It was a case of job done for the Blues who now move on to a semi-final tie with cup holders Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park next Tuesday.
Crusaders come to Windsor Park on the back of sone impressive form which has seen them win five and remain unbeaten in their last six games. The Crues have forced their way up into fourth place in the table and back into contention for the Premiership title. Striker Paul Healey has once again underlined his importance to the team having scored seven goals in his last six appearances.
On Saturday Linfield will need to bring their 'A' game to the table for what is sure to be an intense and challenging ninety minutes of football. Crusaders will be determinded keep the momentum built up over recent weeks going with another big result. This is always an eagerly anticipated fixtire for both sets of supporters ensuring a great atmosphere in the stands. Hopefully, Linfield can lay down a marker and bank three very important points COYB!