Cliftonville are team to beat says Linfield's Waterworth

Linfield striker Andrew Waterworth
Andrew Waterworth scored 25 goals for Linfield in the 2013/14 season

Linfield striker Andrew Waterworth insists champions Cliftonville remain the benchmark for the rest of the teams in the Irish Premiership.

Waterworth scored in Monday's 3-1 home win over Institute which took Linfield to the top of the table.

The Blues hold a three-point advantage going into Saturday's Windsor Park clash against the title holders.

But Waterworth declared: "We may be top at the moment, but Cliftonville are still the team to beat.

"They are a smashing team and I believe whoever finishes above them will win the league.

"It will be a great test for us. We have a new team and this will show us where we are."

Last season, Cliftonville won both of their matches away to Linfield on the way to securing back-to-back league championships.

After a patchy run in which they went five games without a victory, Tommy Breslin's men have recently recorded significant wins over top three teams Crusaders and Portadown.

And the Reds will know that another Windsor win on Saturday would take them ahead of Warren Feeney's Linfield on goal difference.

Crusaders, two points behind Linfield in second place, are at home to Glenavon.

The Crues were impressive 3-1 winners at Glentoran last weekend but go into the Seaview game without skipper and central defender Colin Coates who has been given a one-match ban for accumulating five yellow cards.

Third-placed Portadown should be at full strength for their home game against Ballymena who are without the suspended Gavin Taggart and Mark Surgenor.

Ballymena made a good start to the season which included a 3-2 home win over the Ports, but Glenn Ferguson's side have won just two of their last seven in the league.

Glentoran, whose eight-match unbeaten streak ended with that defeat to Crusaders, travel to Coleraine aiming to put things right.

The Bannsiders are also seeking improvement, having lost away to Ballinamallard United last time out.

Two of the bottom three - Ballinamallard and Dungannon Swifts - clash at Ferney Park.

Danske Bank Irish Premiership - 18 October (15:00 BST)

Ballinamallard United v Dungannon Swifts

Coleraine v Glentoran

Crusaders v Glenavon

Linfield v Cliftonville

Portadown v Ballymena United

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