Linfield travel to East Antrim to face Larne FC at Inver Park in the quarter-final of the BetMcLean Cup (7.45pm k.o. all-ticket).

In the previous round of the competition Linfield, the current holders, and Larne won at Glentoran (2-1) and Ards (5-3 a.e.t.) respectively.

Both teams dropped points at the weekend, Larne’s draw at Ballymena Utd denying them the opportunity to leapfrog Linfield at the top of the Sports Direct Premiership table. This was the latest in a run of draws which has frustratingly undermined their  challenge for the title. They have, however, rather ominously defeated Linfield in all 3 games played this season – winning twice at Windsor Park (1-0 and 2-1) and once at Inver Park (2-0).

In our last outing, Linfield had a disastrous night at The Oval, going down 0-4 to Glentoran on a night of few positives.

It promises to be a highly competitive night of cup football under the Inver Park floodlights, and an instant reaction from the players is essential. A win would set down a marker for the rest of the season and ensure progress to the next stage of the competition.


By Ken Garrett.