Linfield plan without injured duo for Portadown clash

Albert Watson
Albert Watson

Linfield will be without injured pair Albert Watson and Michael Gault for the visit of Portadown to Windsor Park for Saturday's Irish Premiership match.

Gault is missing with a recurring knee injury while Watson is suffering from a back spasm which flared up during Monday 's league defeat by Coleraine.

The Blues have David Armstrong and Billy Joe Burns back after suspension.

Linfield trail leaders Cliftonville by 11 points but boss David Jeffrey says his side will "keep being positive".

Portadown travel to meet the champions on the back of a record of 10 points out of a possible 12 from their last four matches.

Striker Darren Murray is bang on form for the Ports, having bagged six goals in his last six games.

Manager Ronnie McFall must plan without Joe McNeill, who serves a one-match suspension.

Cliftonville travel to Mourneview Park to face Glenavon, who are still without striker Guy Bates, who is attending a family wedding in Jamaica.

Conor Hagan also remains doubtful for the Lurgan Blues with a knee injury.

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter reports a full squad to choose from, with the exception of knee injury victim Chris Morrow.

The Crues have won their last three league games but expect a tough test against another of the Premiership's in-form sides, Coleraine, at Seaview.

The Bannsiders have been boosted by the news that midfield duo Ruairi Harkin and Michael Hegarty have signed new deals which will see them remain at the Showgrounds until 2015.

Teenager Joel Bradley has also been promoted to the first team squad by Coleraine manager Oran Kearney.

Ballymena United have Davy Munster serving a ban for their game at home to Ballinamallard, who have David Kee absent for the same reason.

Fit-again Johnny Taylor is expected to replace Munster at the centre of the Sky Blues' defence.

Dungannon Swifts have Emmet Friars and Matt Hazley serving suspensions as they prepare to entertain struggling Lisburn Distillery at Stangmore Park.

Aaron Smyth sits out the fixture for the Whites, again because of a one-match ban.

Pat McAllister begins his second spell as Donegal Celtic manager with a home game against Glentoran, the former midfielder having been appointed to replace Declan McGreevy in the Suffolk Road hotseat.

Glens goalkeeper Elliott Morris is available again and will replace Aaron Hogg.

Danske Bank Premiership - Saturday 27 October - 15:00 BST kick-offs

Ballymena Utd v Ballinamallard United

Crusaders v Coleraine

Donegal Celtic v Glentoran

Dungannon Swifts v Lisburn Distillery

Glenavon v Cliftonville

Linfield v Portadown