Preview of Saturday’s game

Posted : 27th December 2018 at 21:34:08

The busy festive fixture list continues this Saturday when Linfield face Cliftonville FC at Solitude on matchday 22 of the NIFL Danske Bank Premiership (3pm ko, all ticket). The teams have already met this season at Solitude (1-1) and at Windsor Park when Linfield took all three points (4-2).

Both sets of supporters were out in force for the traditional Boxing Day 'Big Two' derby clash to create a fantastic atmosphere within Windsor Park. For the Linfield faithful though it was 'Jingle Bells' all the way as their team romped home to score four unanswered goals. The home side always looked dangerous when moving forward onto a beleagured Glentoran backline which struggled to cope with the pace and invention of the Linfield attack Jimmy Callacher opened the scoring with yet another of his 'patented' finishes from a set piece play, followed on by goals from MotM Jordan Stewart, Joel Cooper and Andy Waterworth. These four goals were however merely the tip of the iceberg of a great Linfield performance in a game which will live long in the memory.

Cliftonville by way of contrast had a thoroughly miserable Boxing Day derby game at Solitude as their visitors Crusaders hit five goals (5-1). After conceding six goals in their previous outing at Institute (4-6), Manager Barry Gray will be focusing on stabilising his defence ahead of Linfield's arrival at Solitude. Up front the Reds will be looking towards the always dangerous Joe Gormley to find the net. The prolific striker gave the Reds supporters the best Christmas present they could have wished for when he recently signed a new deal which keeps him at the North Belfast club at least until the summer of 2023.

The Blues will be looking to carry on from Boxing Day to produce another match winning display. David may well be considering starting with the same line up that has served him so well for a fifth consecutive game. The Reds though will be determined to regroup quickly and reignite their season with a morale boosting performance. David will certainly be aiming to see the year out on a high with another big result to carry forward into 2019. COYB!

Ken Garrett

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