Irish Premiership challengers aiming to draw level

Stephen Baxter
Stephen Baxter's side defeated Ballymena 3-0 last week

Three Irish Premiership sides have the opportunity to draw level with league leaders Linfield at the top of the table by winning on Friday night.

Crusaders, Portadown and Donegal Celtic all have six points from three games.

The Crues entertain Coleraine, who are chasing their first win of the season.

DC are at home to Ballymena, who have Tony Kane suspended for two games, while Portadown's Richard Clarke and Glenavon's Ryan Harpur have been hit by two-game bans ahead of their derby.

Portadown have signed former Colchester United player Conor McCloskey ahead of their game with Glenavon at Mourneview Park.

Ballymena have Conor Downey, Gavin Taggart and Mark Surgenor all injured but Aaron Black is available again.

The Sky Blues have added Liam Watson to their panel ahead of their trip to Suffolk Road.

Basement club Dungannon Swifts take on Carrick Rangers in the evening's other match.

Unbeaten leaders Linfield play Glentoran on Saturday.

Friday 26 August - Carling Premiership - 1945 BST

Donegal Celtic v Ballymena United

Dungannon Swifts v Carrick Rangers - 2000

Crusaders v Coleraine

Portadown v Glenavon