Joe Gormley celebrates scoring Cliftonville's second goal against Portadown on Tuesday night, keeping them in the title hunt. Photo: INPHO/Matt Mackey
A massive weekend is in store at both ends – and in the middle - of the Danske Bank Premiership as the first post-split games take place.
The league’s top two meet with Linfield looking to extend their one-point lead over Cliftonville as the race for the Gibson Cup hots up.
The Reds kept themselves within touching distance of the Blues on Tuesday night with a 2-0 win over Portadown at Shamrock Park.
Linfield and Cliftonville meet at Solitude at 5.30pm, while Glentoran, who have taken their expulsion from the Irish Cup to arbitration, take on Crusaders at the Oval in one of Saturday’s 3pm fixtures.
Defeat for the Glens could spell disaster for their title hopes, with Mick McDermott’s side sitting five points behind the Blues.
The weekend’s football starts on Friday night with Coleraine, who lost last time out to Glenavon, looking to get back to winning ways against a Larne side which has also been struggling for form lately.
In section B of the table, Warrenpoint Town’s relegation from the Premiership would be confirmed if they lose against Portadown.
A draw would see them all but down, with a 12 point gap between the Ports and the Point with 12 points available after Saturday’s games.
Glenavon take on Ballymena United as the battle for the final European play-off place continues at Mourneview Park. The Lurgan Blues, who are are just one point ahead of the Sky Blues, have just announced the signing of Northern Ireland U19 goalkeeper Josh Clarke.
In Saturday’s other action, Dungannon Swifts and Carrick Rangers both need a win to pull away from the bottom two and stay out of the promotion/relegation play-off.
Friday, April 8 (7.45pm)
Larne v Cliftonville
Saturday, April 9 (3pm unless stated)
Carrick Rangers v Dungannon Swifts
Cliftonville v Linfield (5.30pm)
Glenavon v Ballymena United
Glentoran v Crusaders
Portadown v Warrenpoint Town