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Irish League predictions

By Graham Luney

I don’t know about you but I’m still catching my breath after that cracking game at Seaview on New Year’s Day.

It epitomised everything that is great about Irish League football and we should all be applauding the players and both sets of fans for contributing to what was a memorable contest. All games kick off at 3pm, unless stated.

 

Ballymena Utd v Glenavon

The Lurgan Blues have enjoyed a few more rest days after their pitch froze rather quickly on Tuesday night! Their fresher legs should have the edge in this one but I’m sure Sky Blues boss Glenn Ferguson gave his boys the hairdryer treatment after their defeat at Warrenpoint Town.

Luney prediction: Ballymena Utd 2 Glenavon 2

 

Crusaders v Ballinamallard Utd

The Crues are genuine title challengers but their fate will be determined not by their performances in the big games but in matches like this one as there is always the possibility that players can switch off mentally.

Luney prediction: Crusaders 2 Ballinamallard Utd 1

 

Dungannon Swifts v Cliftonville

A side of Cliftonville’s quality are bound to get their act together soon. Sides that hope to win the title need a little luck as well as talent and the Reds could do with a slice of fortune.

Luney prediction: Dungannon Swifts 1 Cliftonville 3

 

Linfield v Coleraine

It was pleasing to see young Matthew Snoddy get a loan move from Crusaders to Coleraine but the Bannsiders may struggle to taste some joy at Windsor as Linfield look to return to winning ways.

Luney prediction: Linfield 3 Coleraine 0

 

Warrenpoint Town v Glentoran

The Glens haven’t kept a clean sheet in the league since their 4-0 win at home to Ballymena United on November 1 but their results have been good and a strong finish could seal European qualification which would be a stunning achievement by a largely inexperienced squad. Town are unbeaten in five matches and we might as well admit that Barry Gray’s men are in the title race too!

Luney prediction: Warrenpoint Town 1 Glentoran 1

 

Portadown v Institute

(Monday, 7.45pm)

On current form the Ports are red hot favourites yet they were expected to roll over Warrenpoint Town as well. Surely, they have learned their lesson.

Luney prediction: Portadown 2 Institute 0

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