Matchday Guide: Linfield
TWO in-form teams square off as Coleraine are the visitors to Linfield this afternoon (KO 3pm)…
Danske Bank Premiership
The Bannsiders start 2023 with a trip to reigning champions Linfield with new signing Eamon Fyfe eligible to play after signing from Dundela. The Stripes were last in action back on Boxing Day as Conor McKendry and Matthew Shevlin netted to give Oran Kearney’s men the bragging rights and move up to fifth spot in the Danske Bank Premiership. The fixture in the capital marks a busy run of fixtures for Coleraine as they feature eight times in three different competitions during the calendar month.
Linfield have won six out of their last seven Danske Bank Premiership fixtures – including a late Boxing Day victory against Glentoran at The Oval. The Blues are now second in the table and have also reached the finals of the BetMcLean Cup against Coleraine and the County Antrim Shield against Larne. David Healy’s side did suffer penalty shoot-out heartache against Kelty Hearts in the Scottish Challenge Cup and will face Warrenpoint Town in the fifth round of the Irish Cup.
It would be a case of the defences at The Showgrounds as neither side went close to breaking the deadlock at The Showgrounds back in October. In front of a full capacity, the first chance would fall at the feet of Conor McDermott but the full-back’s strike was easily gathered by Chris Johns. After Joel Cooper flashed a free-kick inches wide, the Blues would spurn the chance of the game on the stroke of half-time as Stephen Fallon headed over from Kirk Millar’s cross. With less than a minute of the second-half played, Coleraine would threaten as Josh Carson’s free-kick forced Johns into a save before Jamie Glackin failed to find the target from 25 yards. The final opportunity of the contest would be created by Linfield as Cooper teed up Fallon but his effort fizzed wide.
“It will be a clash between two in-form teams,” Kearney said.
“We are in a good place, things are going well for us and we just want to try and keep sustaining that level of performance.
“There was a nice wee break from Boxing Day but the boys have prepared well for this one.”
The match referee will be Ian McNabb.
The assistant referees are Gavin Hegarty and Stephen Donaldson.
Shane Andrews has been selected as the fourth official.
Coleraine supporters can buy tickets for the fixture which can be purchased HERE.
If you are not feeling yourself this afternoon and you have symptoms which you feel are similar to COVID-19, please stay away from the stadium and think of others.
As ever, those unable to watch the fixture can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).