TABLE TOPPING Cliftonville will be without George McMullan for Saturday’s Solitude game against fourth-placed Coleraine.
McMullan misses out because of a ban as Cliftonville look to continue on their rich vein of form.
“We beat Coleraine 5-1 in September but it was not a true reflection of the game,” said Reds boss Tommy Breslin.
“This will be very tough for us and we need to be at our best to get anything out of it.”
Crusaders lie five points behind their north Belfast rivals and they have Declan Caddell and Paul Heatley suspended for the trip to Glentoran.
Ballymena midfielder Allan Jenkins is in line for a first start after a medial ligament injury when the Sky Blues take on Portadown at the Showgrounds.
Third-placed Ballinamallard welcome struggling Linfield to Ferney Park with the champions 14 points off the pace and down in sixth.
Mark McAllister is suspended for the Blues but keeper Alan Blayney could make his return from injury.
“We haven’t been doing particularly well this season as a team but we are looking to rectify that as soon as possible,” Blayney told the club website.
“I hope that on Saturday against Ballinamallard we can get back to playing the way that we can.
“It has been surprising how well they have done this year and it has been refreshing to see.”
Glenavon’s James Singleton is banned for the Mourneview Park clash against bottom club Lisburn Distillery, who are missing the suspended Ryan McCann.
Suspension rules out Dungannon Swifts midfielder Sean Friars for the Stangmore Park meeting with Donegal Celtic.
Danske Bank Premiership
Saturday – 1500 GMT kick-off
Ballinamallard Utd v Linfield
Ballymena Utd v Portadown
Cliftonville v Coleraine
Dungannon Swifts v Donegal Celtic
Glenavon v Lisburn Distillery
Glentoran v Crusaders