DANSKE BANK IRISH PREMIER LEAGUE: CAN GLENTORAN GIVE JEFFREY THE BLUES ON BOXING DAY?

Linfield manager David Jeffrey

Linfield manager David Jeffrey

ALL roads lead to Windsor Park on Boxing Day as Glentoran take on Linfield which is normally a seasonal cracker.

It will be Linfield’s biggest gate of the season as thousands of football fans head to south Belfast to see them take on their arch rivals Glentoran.

William Murphy misses the game after suffering concussion in a clash during Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Crusaders.

The incident left Linfield manager David Jeffrey furious.

“I have a centre, William Murphy, who is concussed and is out of the Boxing Day game.

” Albert Watson is showing an injury to his face after receiving an off the ball blow.

” I am not saying that the game should not be physical, indeed I always loved that side of the game. But I have two centre backs who are injured as a result of incidents today.”

Philip Lowry is an injury doubt for Linfield along with Michael Gault, who is available again after sitting out the Crues game through suspension.

Bans rule out Glentoran trio Jason Hill, Mark Clarke and William Garrett for the trip to Windsor Park.

Cliftonville teenager James Knowles is out of the top-two Premiership clash with Crusaders at Solitude on Boxing Day because of an ankle injury.

The midfielder sustained ligament damage during a reserves outing.

Crusaders, who trail the Reds by six points, are missing the banned Jordan Owens for the north Belfast derby.

“One stroke of quality may be decisive in what should be a close game – someone has a chance to become a hero,” said Crues boss Stephen Baxter.

Ballymena United host Coleraine with the Sky Blues chasing a first derby victory in three years.

The task for Ballymena is made more difficult by the suspension of Alan Davidson and Tony Kane.

Donegal Celtic strikers Mark Miskimmin and Shane Dolan are banned for the festive basement battle against Lisburn Distillery at New Grosvenor.

Glenavon will move above Portadown if they win the Mid Ulster derby at Shamrock Park.

The Ports will be without suspended pair Gary Breen and Darren Murray.

Ballinamallard midfielder Conor O’Grady returns for the Stangmore Park meeting with Dungannon Swifts after recovering from an ankle.

A hat-trick for the reserves earns striker Liam Martin a recall to the squad but Mark McConkey (knee) and Stuart Hutchinson (groin) are long-term absentess.

 

Wednesday, December 26 – 3 pm kick-off

Ballymena Utd v Coleraine

Cliftonville v Crusaders

Dungannon Swifts v Ballinamallard Utd

Linfield v Glentoran

Lisburn Distillery v Donegal Celtic

Portadown v Glenavon

 

 

 

 

 

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