Big weekend of Danske Bank Premiership football kicks off tonight

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Portadown and Glenavon during Monday's Mid-Ulster derby - they're both in action again on Friday night. Image credit: David Maginnis.

Tomorrow meanwhile sees the top-of-the-table clash between Crusaders and Linfield

A big weekend in the Danske Bank Premiership kicks off with two matches on Friday night.

And the teams at the centre of the latest registration row are both in action.

Glenavon are at home to Cliftonville, while Portadown travel to Ballinamallard.

Kick-off time at Mourneview Park is 7.45 with the Mallards match starting 15 minutes later.

The Lurgan Blues face an Irish FA investigation over claims defender David Elebert was suspended and should not have played in the 2-2 draw against the Ports at Shamrock Park on Boxing Day.

If the authorities rule against Glenavon, a 3-0 win would be awarded to the basement side.

Cliftonville go to Lurgan hoping to get their title challenge back on track after a 4-0 hammering at home to Crusaders in the north Belfast Boxing Day derby. 

They'll have to do it without striker Jay Donnelly, suspended after being sent off for a late challenge on Monday.

The Ports trail the 10th-placed Mallards by 12 points, but have enjoyed a revival recently under Niall Currie.

And the new boss is determined to keep the run going at Ferney Park.

New Year's Eve sees the top-of-the-table clash between Crusaders and Linfield at Seaview.

After their Boxing Day draw with Glentoran at Windsor, Linfield are seven points behind the defending champions.

And manager David Healy admits only one result will do on the Shore Road.

The Glens host high-flying Dungannon Swifts tomorrow.

It comes amid speculation about a possible move for the league's top scorer, Swifts striker Andrew Mitchell.

His 16 goals have helped them to move above Glenavon into the Premiership's top six.

And Mitchell's teammate Andrew Burns says it's no surprise he's in big demand.

Also on New Year's Eve, Coleraine are at home to Carrick and Ballymena face Ards in Bangor, in a game that has the earlier kick-off time of 2pm - the rest start at three o'clock as usual.

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