Linfield manager Warren Feeney confident for Belfast derby

Linfield manager Warren Feeney
Warren Feeney's Linfield side trail Crusaders by nine points

Linfield manager Warren Feeney is confident his side can give their receding league title hopes a boost by beating Belfast rivals Glentoran.

The Blues travel to the Oval for Tuesday's Premiership game, having won two and drawn one of the previous three meetings between the sides this season.

"We don't need to motivate the players for this one. We're confident we can get the right result," said Feeney.

"We have a great bunch of lads. They are buying into what we want to do."

Glentoran have Curtis Allen and Stephen McAlorum suspended, while Barry Holland is doubtful with a back injury.

Linfield trail leaders Crusaders by nine points and a vastly inferior goal difference makes their task in trying to overhaul Stephen Baxter's charges even more difficult.

The Crues go to Portadown as they bid to move a step closer towards securing a first league title since 1997.

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter will be without Colin Coates, who begins a two-match ban, and Paul Heatley, who is getting married.

Defenders Paul Leeman and David Magowan are available again for the Seaview men however.

The Ports have Billy Brennan serving an automatic suspension, but Ronnie McFall hopes to have Keith O'Hara and Gary Twigg available again.

Meanwhile Cliftonville continue their quest to clinch the top three place which would ensure European football against in-form Glenavon at Mourneview Park.

In the bottom half of the league, Institute's heavy defeat by Warrenpoint Town on Saturday looks to have condemned them to relegation to Championship One as they are now eight points adrift of the pack.

"The players are trying their best but it's a big step up for them. It's going to be difficult now but we will keep fighting," said 'Stute assistant manager John Cunningham.

"The fact is that we have let players go, but haven't been able to replace them with similar quality," added the former Lisburn Distillery boss, ahead of the trip to Ballinamallard on Tuesday.

Ballymena United, who have won their last two games and kept a rare clean sheet in beating derby rivals Coleraine on Saturday, entertain 11th-placed Warrenpoint Town who are aiming to avoid a promotion-relegation play-off.

"We have to hope that Ballinamallard slip up and we can capitalise on that by picking up points," said 'Point manager Barry Gray, whose side trail the Fermanagh club by four points.

Dungannon Swifts host Coleraine in the other 'bottom six' match at Stangmore Park.

Danske Bank Premiership fixtures - Tuesday 7 April

15:00 BST kick-off

Glenavon v Cliftonville

19:45 BST kick-offs unless stated

Glentoran v Linfield

Portadown v Crusaders

Ballymena Utd v Warrenpoint Town

Dungannon Swifts v Coleraine

Ballinamallard Utd v Institute (20:00 BST)

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