Irish Premiership: Healy to make Linfield changes for Ballymena game

Ballymena and Linfield will both be aiming to bounce back from defeats
Ballymena and Linfield will both be aiming to bounce back from defeats

Linfield boss David Healy plans to rejig his line-up for the visit to Ballymena in response to last weekend's Windsor Park defeat by Glenavon.

The Blues went down 3-2 to Gary Hamilton's team to make it three losses from their last four league matches.

"There will be changes - we can't put a team out that's performing like we did against Glenavon," said Healy.

Ballymena are also looking to bounce back following the Co Antrim Shield final defeat by Crusaders in midweek.

The Sky Blues overcame Linfield 2-1 in their last Premiership meeting at the Showgrounds in November.

Ballymena lie sixth in the standings while Linfield's fading title defence sees them 18 points behind leaders Crusaders.

Spot-on selection

"When we do go to Ballymena then hopefully I've picked the right team," added Healy.

"Bigger clubs than Linfield lose games, they go through rocky spells so it's about regrouping and we go again on Saturday."

Crusaders will be buoyed by their impressive 4-2 win over United in the Co Shield final and the north Belfast side welcome strugglers Carrick Rangers to Seaview.

Crusaders thumped Carrick 7-1 in their last league meeting at Seaview in November
Crusaders thumped Carrick 7-1 in their last league meeting at Seaview in November

Coleraine are just one point adrift of the pacesetters thanks to a thrilling comeback against the Crues in a top-two showdown last Saturday.

The Bannsiders fought back from two goals down to earn a 3-3 draw at the Showgrounds and next up for Oran Kearney's young team is a trip to take on Glentoran.

"It's important we back up the momentum we got from the second-half comeback and we kick on again at Glentoran with another big performance," said Kearney.

Ards clinched a 1-0 win over Ballymena last Saturday and they will move above eighth-placed Dungannon Swifts if they emerge victors from the Stangmore Park meeting between the sides.

"This is a big game for us - we'll go there with confidence and a determination to get the three points," said Ards manager Colin Nixon.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership - Saturday 27 January (15:00 GMT)
Radio Ulster coverage and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website
Ballymena UtdvLinfield
CrusadersvCarrick Rangers
Dungannon SwiftsvArds
GlentoranvColeraine