Portadown defender Gartland back for Coleraine clash

Brian Gartland
Brian Gartland celebrates after scoring in last weekend's win at Ballymena United

Portadown have Brian Gartland back for the Carling Premiership encounter with Coleraine at Shamrock Park.

The defender returns from suspension but striker Kevin Braniff is a doubt because of bruising on the bone.

The Ports will go top with a draw and boss Ronnie McFall believes his squad is strong enough to challenge champions Linfield for the title.

"We have a lot of quality here - it's just a case of keeping everyone fit and available," said McFall.

Lisburn Distillery midfielder Grant Gardiner is banned for the visit to Glenavon after being sent-off in Wednesday's Irn-Bru League Cup defeat by Crrusaders.

The Crues take on Ballymena United at Seaview with defender Stephen McBride still out because of a hamstring injury.

But boss Stephen Baxter has been boosted by the return of Chris Morrow and Paul Leeman from injury and the north belfast side have won their last three games.

"We're passing it really well and have found our rhythm in the last week or two," said Baxter.

Carrick Rangers midfielder Anto Lagan (shoulder) and defender Davy McAlinden (foot) are injury doubts for the meeting with Cliftonville at Solitude.

Rangers have made a solid start to their first season in the Premiership, lying 10th with three wins from 11 games.

"It's where I expected us to be - we are realistic about our objectives," said Stephen Small, the Carrick manager and former Cliftonville player.

"But there have been a few games where we really shouldn't have dropped points and that is frustrating."

Dungannon Swifts host Donegal Celtic with both sides looking to bounce back from midweek defeats in the League Cup.

Leaders Linfield are not in action until Monday, when they travel to the Oval for a Big Two clash with Glentoran.

Saturday 15 October - 1500 BST

Carling Premiership

Cliftonville v Carrick Rangers

Crusaders v Ballymena United

Dungannon v Donegal Celtic

Glenavon v Lisburn Distillery

Portadown v Coleraine

Top Stories