Preview of tomorrow night’s game

Posted : 7th March 2019 at 11:05:55

Linfield travel to Lurgan on matchday 31 of the NIFL Danske Bank Premiership to face Glenavon FC under the floodlights at Mourneview Park (7.45pm ko). This fixture is scheduled to be televised live by BBC2 NI. During this campaign games between the teams have been closely contested affairs, with a scoreless draw at Windsor and a Linfield victory (1-0) at Mourneview on the opening weekend of the season.

In their last outing Linfield edged over the line (1-0) at the Newry Showgrounds with a late headed goal from Chris Casement. The Blues were forced to leave it late, having failed earlier to convert some decent half chances against a Newry City side languishing at the foot of the table. But Linfield's 'will to win' attitude, epitomised by Chris who was wearing the captain's armband in the absence of the injured Jamie Mulgrew, finally ensured that all three points would be heading back to Belfast.

Glenavon's season has hit the buffers in recent weeks, with some poor home form culminating in four defeats in the last six games. Saturday's disappointing home defeat (2-0) to Cliftonville has left them sitting in fourth place in the table and drifting well out of contention in the title race. The transfer of talented midfielder Marc Sykes to Oxford United in the EFL has certainly not helped Glenavon's cause. This has however opened the door for his replacement Robbie Garrett who made the switch from Linfield in search of more game time. Player-manager Gary Hamilton has citied his team's lack of quality in the final third as the reason for poor results at Mourneview Park. This has prompted the Glenavon manager to rise from the dugout in Lazarus like fashion to feature late in some recent games. His focus now will be to push the team on for a top three finish and a place in next season's lucrative Euorpa League.

As the physical demands of a long hard season begins to take their toll, the Linfield players will have benefitted greatly from their ten day hiatus from Premiership action. David fortunately has options in all areas of the park with a squad of quality players, who when the call comes, are able to fit seamlessly into the starting XI. Glenavon are sure to be up for the game, determined to make a quick return to winning ways in front of their own supporters. Hopefully, the Blues can keep the momentum built up over recent weeks going with another away day win for the travelling Linfield faithful to savour! COYB!

Ken Garrett
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