Newly promoted Ards start the weekend on top
The Danske Premier League returns this weekend with new-boys Ards the unlikely leaders after their 4-3 win against Ballymena United last week. Ards travel to Mourneview Park on Friday night to take on Glenavon with Niall Currie's men looking to maintain their unbeaten start against the Lurgan side. Ards will be wary of a Glenavon backlash after the Lurgan Blues were thumped 4-0 by Linfield at Windsor last week.
Niall Currie laughs off suggestions that his side will be favourites against Glenavon:
Coleraine will look to put an indifferent start to the season behind them, with a home game against Glentoran this evening. Coleraine are yet to win a league game this season and the visit of the Glens is never an easy prospect. Alan Kernaghan's side travel to the Bannside on the back of a 1-0 win away win over Portadown.
Glens full-back Ross Redman is set to face his former Portadown teammate Gary Twigg:
Football is back at The Showgrounds this Friday night as @ColeraineFC take on @Glentoran #danskebankprem #NIFL pic.twitter.com/GqUSXzrcNS— Coleraine FC (@ColeraineFC) 23 August 2016
In Friday's final fixture, Ballymena United make the trip to Carrick Rangers. Ballymena will want to put last weekend's defeat to league leaders Ards behind them, while Carrick are coming off the back of a 3-3 draw with Ballinamallard, Both sides are level on points and have a genuine chance of giving their season a much-needed shot in the arm.
Moving to Saturday, champions Crusaders continue their title defence when they invite Portadown to Seaview. The Ports lost 1-0 to Glentoran last week and have it all to do if they are to continue to chip away at the 12-point deduction meted out to them at the start of the season. The Crues sit second place in the table after their 1-1 draw with Coleraine at the showgrounds last week.
Don't forget Crusaders are next in action at Seaview on Saturday 27th August when they play Portadown in Match... https://t.co/GLnxpXPU0m— Crusaders FC (@CrusadersFC) 24 August 2016
Ballinamallard and Cliftonville square up at Ferney Park on Saturday afternoon. Cliftonville were beaten by high-flying Dungannon Swifts last weekend, while the Mallards were involved in an equal share of 6 goals with Carrick Rangers in a three apiece draw.
Finally Dungannon Swifts will look to continue their impressive early season form with a trip to Windsor Park to take on Linfield. Both sides had impressive wins last weekend, with the Swifts picking up a 2-1 away win over Cliftonville and Linfield dishing out a 4-0 drubbing to Glenavon.
Friday, 26th August, 2016 (7:45pm)
- Carrick Rangers v. Ballymena United
- Coleraine v. Glentoran
- Glenavon v. Ards
Saturday, 27th August, 2016 (3pm)
- Ballinamallard United v. Cliftonville
- Crusaders v. Portadown
- Linfield v. Dungannon Swifts
Danske Bank Premiership table - 20th August 2016 #DanskeBankPrem pic.twitter.com/RayRmPu5MS— OfficialNIFL (@OfficialNIFL) 20 August 2016