Linfield travel to Lurgan to face Glenavon on Matchday 20 of the Sports Direct Premiership (3pm k.o. all-ticket). When the teams met earlier in the season at Windsor Park Linfield ran out winners by 4-2. 

In his short period as Glenavon manager, Stephen McDonnell has had a roller coaster time. After plummeting to the basement of the table, a run of four wins in November pulled his side into 7th place, clear of the relegation zone. 

A well deserved NIFWA Manager of the Month award duly followed and this week a trio of new arrivals has been announced – Mark Byrne (Dundalk), Darren Clarke Kelly (Galway United) and Gavin Hodgins (loan, Shelbourne). One to watch is teenage striker Aaron Prendergast, who has hit 4 goals in 5 games. 

In our last outing, Linfield regained top spot in the table with a pulsating 4-3 win over Dungannon Swifts at Windsor Park. Having gone into the interval break 3-1 down, The Blues fought back to win with a Kirk Millar goal in added time. 

The catalyst for this dramatic victory was undoubtedly the introduction at half time of inspirational skipper Jamie Mulgrew, who deservedly took home the Man of the Match award. The relief around Windsor Park at the final whistle was palpable and the faithful almost raised the roof in a mixture of joy and relief! 

The Premiership title race has been nip and tuck in recent weeks between Linfield and Larne, with the teams exchanging pole position in the table. On Saturday The Blues will be targeting an away day win to ensure that they remain at the summit of the table. It promises to be another challenging game in a busy month of football. 


By Ken Garrett