Linfield are in midweek action, travelling to East Belfast to face Glentoran FC at The Oval in the last 16 of the BetMcLean Cup (7.45pm k.o. all-ticket).
Linfield are the current holders of the trophy having defeated Coleraine 2-0 in last season's final at Windsor Park. This season Linfield and Glentoran recorded home wins over Queen's University (3-1) and Dollingstown (2-0) respectively in the competition.
Glentoran come into Tuesday night's tie on the back of a disappointing 2-3 home defeat to Carrick Rangers at The Oval. Warren Feeney's side have now fallen right off the pace in the title race, sitting 5th in the table, a massive 16 points behind leaders Linfield. The Glens willnow be targeting silverware in the domestic cup competitions.
On Saturday Linfield continued their impressive run of form, with a ninth consecutive win, defeating Newry City 3-0 in a hard fought game at The Showgrounds. The heavy playing surface dictated that free-flowing football would be at a minimum, andboth teams largely went route one in attack.
After a lacklustre first half, The Blues broke down the home defence in a blistering ten minute spell with a three goal salvo to effectively seal the game.
A satisfying victory for The Blues against a robust Newry City side fighting for their lives. Maybe not a game for the football purists, but both teams showed their mettle in difficult playing conditions.
Another valuable 3 points keeps The Blues firmly in control of top spot in the Premiership table.
David and his players will be heading to TheOval determined to keep hold of the BETMcLEAN Cup trophy, and the Linfield manager will certainly be looking for another stellar performance after last month’s 2-0 win at Windsor Park.
David will know from experience that the form book can often go right out the window in 'Big Two' derby games. With another large travelling contingent of Linfield supporters heading east, the stage is set as these two great old rivals go head-to-head under The Oval floodlights!
By Ken Garrett.