Match Preview

Second vs third as Coleraine host Glenavon

COLERAINE are back in action this weekend as they prepare to face Glenavon in the Danske Bank Premiership on Saturday (KO 3pm)…

The sides have clashed on 2 occasions to date this campaign with the Bannsiders picking up 4 points from a possible 6 over the Lurgan Blues.

The Stripes enjoyed a comfortable 4-2 victory over Gary Hamilton’s men at the Showgrounds back in August. The last meeting of the teams was in November and it was to be a case of honours even when the teams played out a 2-2 draw in an action packed game at Mourneview Park.

Glenavon are just 1 of 4 teams who have managed to take points of Oran Kearney’s high-flying Bannsiders so far this season. Coleraine go into Saturday’s game in great form after last weekend’s 4-0 Irish Cup success over Institute. Midweek results mean the Bannsiders are now 3 points adrift of Stephen Baxter’s side in second.

A win on Saturday would see the Stripes move 16 points clear of Glenavon and would further cement them into second spot, however Coleraine manager Oran Kearney understands the nature of the battle ahead.

“It’ll be a very tough game. Glenavon are flying and they’re one of the in-form teams in the league this season,” Kearney continued.

“Gary has assembled a fantastic squad at the club and they’re doing really well.”

“They’ll be keen to win and close the gap on us but we’ll be looking to extend the gap by picking up 3 points so with that in mind it shapes up to be an intriguing game.”

Coleraine head into the game a little light on the ground as Brad Lyons, Stephen Dooley and Aaron Burns all remain doubtful for the Glenavon fixture. Both Dooley and Lyons are struggling with their respective injuries sustained against Glentoran, whilst Burns is making steady progress after a knee injury.

James McLaughlin remains the only long term absentee as he continues his rehabilitation after a cruciate knee injury.

As ever, those unable to attend can follow all the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).

Supporters are reminded that entry is via matchday card/season ticket only.