Linfield make the short trip across Belfast on Matchday 18 of the Sports Direct Premiership to face Glentoran FC at The Oval (7.45pm k.o. all-ticket). This will be the third time the Belfast Big Two have faced each other this season with Linfield winning at Windsor Park (2-0) and The Oval (2-1).
Glentoran have endured a disappointing season so far and sit in 5th place in the table, 15 points behind their biggest rivals, and Warren Feeney has been left to rue their lack of consistency.
The Glentoran manager will be looking for an improvement in results against the Top 6 teams, with only 1 win over Cliftonville (1-0). In their last outing they did, however, receive a massive boost by booking a place in the Co. Antrim Shield final with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Carrick Rangers at Taylors Avenue.
Linfield returned to the summit of the Premiership table after putting visitors Ballymena United to the sword, scoring four unanswered goals at a cold Windsor Park. The Blues took control of the game early against a robust Ballymena side – just the result David Healy would have hoped for ahead of a congested December fixture list.
Both teams will head into Friday night's derby determined to produce a match winning display. ‘The team that wants it more usually wins' is a familiar cliché and in these sorts of games this often rings true.
Hopefully it’s the Linfield faithful cheering loudest from the terraces, David Healy's men who take all 3 points, and there is an entertaining night of football under The Oval floodlights!
By Ken Garrett.