Match day 28 of the NIFL Danske Bank Premiership sees Linfield welcome Coleraine FC to Windsor Park (3pm ko). This season the visitors have taken four points from the two games already played between the teams, winning 2-1 at Windsor and drawing 0-0 at the Showgrounds.
It has been a disappointing week or so for the Linfield players and supporters alike which began with news that injury would rule Roy Carroll out until next season, followed by a home defeat in the Irish Cup to Crusaders, and finally the postponement of Tuesday night's CAS Final at a rain sodden Ballymena Showgrounds. But with a hectic February schedule, the Blues have little time to dwell on matters, as they quickly switch focus back towards the Premiership title race. David will be only too aware of the challenge that lies ahead on Saturday, after opponents Coleraine recorded a victory in their last visit to the 'Park'. The Linfield manager though will be determined to put another three points on the board to consolidate pole position in the table.
Coleraine come to Belfast on the back of a midweek win at Dungannon Swifts (2-0) which takes them up to fourth place in the table. Whilst the Premiership title looks to be a bridge too far now for Coleraine, a top three finish is still well within their grasp. A welcome boost for the team has been the recent arrival of ex-NI international (14 caps) Dean Shiels who has given manager Rodney McAree further options up front. The much travelled striker has a long CV which includes spells at Hibs, Doncaster Rovers, Rangers, Dunfermline, Kilmarnock, FC Edmonton, Dundalk and Derry City. It would also be remiss not to give a special mention to former Linfield favourite Steven Douglas who continues to do the business with 15 appearances already chalked up this season. At 41 years young 'Dougie' brings both a wealth of experience, and no doubt banter, to the Coleraine changing room!
The Blues will be looking to end the week on a high with a match winning performance. Coleraine for their part will be looking to build up some momentum ahead of several important games including an Irish Cup quarter-final tie away to Championship champions elect Larne live on BBC. It's another big weekend for both sides with points at a premium as the Premiership heads towards the business end of the season. COYB!