Confident Glens can shatter Blues' league and cup hopes: Allen
Curtis Allen says Glentoran are happy to be underdogs going into the Big Two battle on Monday but he believes the east Belfast men can put a huge dent into Linfield's title hopes.
The Blues are firm favourites to sweep aside the old enemy at Windsor Park but as the cliché goes, form goes out the window on these occasions, and Gary Haveron's side will give their all to secure a precious victory which could transform their season.
With the sides clashing again in the Irish Cup next month, these are season defining moments and the Glens are fed up feeling the blues.
It will take time for Haveron to build a Glentoran team he can call his own and striker Allen will be a key piece in his jigsaw after agreeing a three-year deal.
"I know there was a lot of speculation about me going here and there but the truth is I never wanted to leave Glentoran," said the 28-year-old.
"I live locally and I'm enjoying my football here. Leaving the club never crossed my mind.
"The club and the fans have been brilliant with me and I want to repay them with goals."
Allen hopes to shine at Windsor Park on Monday and, despite Glentoran's poor campaign to date he's confident Linfield aren't going to enjoy a festive stroll in the park.
"If any one of our players didn't believe they could beat Linfield on Boxing Day they wouldn't be in the squad," he added.
"Everyone is excited about the Linfield game and a few of the lads haven't sampled the Boxing Day atmosphere so it will be a new experience for them.
"Although we didn't get the result we wanted in Ballinamallard, we will prepare well for the Linfield game and be confident of getting a win.
"We aren't the favourites to win this game and I don't think many people will give us a good chance of winning it but that suits us and we will approach it full of confidence.
"The onus is on Linfield to keep the pressure on Crusaders so it's a game they need to win and one they will be expected to win.
"If we could win on Boxing Day and then against Linfield in the Irish Cup next month, it would be a much more positive picture for us.
"There has been a massive transformation at this club with a new manager coming in and it takes time for things to get going.
"Gary's (Haveron) first game in charge was against Linfield and we were very unfortunate to lose that game. We played well and a result on Boxing Day could see a change in luck and momentum for us."
Ω LINFIELD have completed the signing of ex-CSKA Sofia striker Kevin Amuneke.
The 30-year-old former Nigerian international, who began his career with Porto and has enjoyed spells with clubs in Sweden, Romania and Serbia, joins from Ballymena & Provincial Football League side Ballynure Old Boys and has penned an amateur contract until the end of the season.
"We have watched Kevin in action in recent times and he's been up training with us, so we could take a closer look at him," said Blues boss David Healy.
"He's certainly impressed us with his positive attitude and I'll be delighted to welcome him on board when he joins us at the start of the New Year.
"His arrival will increase the competition levels within the squad and provide us with further options up front."