Tennent's Irish Cup derby day fast approaches

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Two of the quarter-finalists, Portadown and Crusaders, in action at the weekend. Image credit: David Maginnis

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It's derby day in the Tennent's Irish Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

The top two in the Premiership clash at Seaview with Crusaders hosting Linfield.


Local rivals also meet in Ballymena where the Sky Blues take on Coleraine. 

Meanwhile, Glenavon make the short trip to Portadown.

And there's another Mid-Ulster derby as Dungannon Swifts welcome the only Championship side left in the competition, Warrenpoint Town.


The Crues and Blues have met four times this season with David Healy's men winning twice and the other two games ending all square.

Crues' forwards Michael Carvill and Paul Heatley are both suspended for the cup match.

But Heatley's backing his teammates to get over the line without him.

Healy will be able to take his place on the Blues bench after the club appealed his seven-match touchline ban.

It was handed down by the Irish FA after Northern Ireland's record goalscorer was recently sent to the stand for a third time this season.

Healy says the Blues will be feeling confident.

Portadown have revealed the secret of their recent revival ahead of the Shamrock Park cup derby. 

The bottom of the table team go into the game on the back of surprise Premiership draws against Linfield and Crusaders in successive weeks.

And striker Marcio Soares, who hit the equaliser against the Crues last Saturday, says a pep talk from leading sports psychologist Dr Mark Elliott has been their inspiration.

Ports full-back, Lurgan man Mark Carson has a foot in both camps this weekend - and it's a real family affair.

Warrenpoint are set for promotion back to the Premiership after one season in the second tier.

They're currently top of the Championship table, 15 points clear of Ballyclare Comrades.

But 'Point manager Matthew Tipton says Saturday against the Swifts will be an entirely different challenge ...

Ballymena beat the Bannsiders en route to lifting the League Cup, but can lightning strike twice at the Braid?

We've been speaking to a man who knows both sides well - January Player of the Month, Crusaders defender, Howard Beverland.

He lives between the rival towns in Ballymoney, his daytime job is a social worker in Ballymena and he's a former Coleraine captain.

The 26-year-old says the cup tie is a massive match for the area.

Beverland believes Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney deserves immense credit for what he's achieved at the Ballycastle Road Showgrounds.

We asked Howard what is his footballing background and who is he backing on Saturday?

So what's his prediction for the big match at Warden Street?

All four ties on Saturday kick-off at 3pm and are played to a finish. 

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