Irish Premiership: Glens pair to miss Crues clash at Oval

Nacho Novo faces a spell on the sidelines because of a groin injury
Nacho Novo faces a spell on the sidelines because of a groin injury

Glentoran will go into Saturday's home game against Premiership pacesetters Crusaders without strikers Nacho Novo and Curtis Allen.

Novo aggravated a groin problem in Tuesday night's 2-2 draw with Glenavon while Allen remains sidelined because of a mouth abscess.

"Our workrate and organisation was first-class against Glenavon," said Glens caretaker boss Roy Coyle.

"We have to repeat that to get anything out of this game."

Coyle, who is preparing for his third game as temporary manager following Alan Kernaghan's resignation last month, added that Novo would be out "for a while".

Crusaders are already four points clear at the top as they chase a third straight Premiership title.

They will aim to extend their unbeaten start to the season although Crues boss Stephen Baxter is expecting a tough test in east Belfast.

Crusaders winger Paul Heatley celebrates scoring the first of his two goal in last weekend's 3-1 win over Dungannon
Crusaders winger Paul Heatley celebrates scoring the first of his two goal in last weekend's 3-1 win over Dungannon

"It has always been a big challenge for us at the Oval and they will relish playing against the champions," said Baxter.

"The league needs a strong Glentoran and I hope they get the manager position filled quickly and get a solid side."

"But, as always, we will be up for the challenge will give it our best shot."

Closest challengers Ards play on Friday night while third-placed Linfield make the trip to struggling Carrick Rangers, who have conceded 21 goals in seven games.

Coleraine have won their last four matches and the inform Bannsiders take on Cliftonville at Solitude.

Glenavon have dropped five points in their last two games and Gary Hamilton's side face a tricky encounter with Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park.

Shamrock Park is the venue as current basement boys Portadown entertain Ballymena United.

There will be live commentary and reports on BBC Radio Ulster's Sportsound while you can listen to the action and follow our live text commentary on the BBC Sport NI website

Danske Bank Irish Premiership - Saturday, 15:00 BST
Carrick RangersvLinfield
CliftonvillevColeraine
Dungannon SwiftsvGlenavon
GlentoranvCrusaders
Portadown vBallymena Utd