Rory Patterson to miss league clash with Cliftonville

David Jeffrey and Rory Patterson
Linfield manager David Jeffrey must plan without striker Rory Patterson

Rory Patterson must sit out Linfield's trip to face Cliftonville as the Blues attempt to put more daylight between themselves and the chasing pack at the top of the Irish Premiership.

Patterson serves a one-match ban while John Convery is suspended for the Reds.

Linfield are five points ahead of Portadown and seven clear of the Reds, with a game in hand over both clubs.

Crusaders must plan without suspended pair Aidan Watson and Colin Coates for their game with Glentoran at the Oval.

The Glens have won only two of their six home league games so far this season but have shown a return to form in recent weeks.

It's derby day elsewhere in the Premiership, with struggling Glenavon at home to Mid-Ulster rivals Portadown and Coleraine entertaining Ballymena United.

Tim Mouncey is suspended for the Ports and Richard Lecky continues to recover from surgery to repair ankle ligament damage.

The Lurgan Blues have central defender Johnny Magee missing with a hamstring injury.

"The sides have enjoyed contrasting fortunes this season but there is a lot of pride at stake in this fixture," said Glenavon manager Marty Quinn.

"I can see a bit of an improvement in our performances and I'm very confident that we won't be in the bottom two come the end of the season," he added.

Ballymena boss Roy Walker hopes to have Liam Watson fit again after a hamstring strain but another central defender, Denver Gage faces a further spell on the sidelines through injury.

Davy Munster is suspended after being sent-off in the second half of the Sky Blues' home win over Lisburn Distillery.

United manager Walker may be tempted to use winger Eamonn Murray from the start after the winger impressed as a substitute against the Whites.

Prolific striker Gary McCutcheon is expected to be fit after retiring early with a foot injury last week.

Seaview will be the venue for an important battle at the bottom of the table between Carrick Rangers and Dungannon Swifts.

Both managers are well aware of the importance of the fixture, even at this relatively early stage of the season.

"These are the important games for us - matches we must get something out of," said Swifts' boss Dixie Robinson, who is without Adam McMinn, PJ Lavery, Shea McGerrigan and Johnny Topley.

McMinn is out of the country, Topley is attending a family wedding and Lavery and McGerrigan are injured.

"There's a four-team mini-league at the foot of the table and we mustn't lose to the other teams in that league," observed Carrick manager Stephen Small.

In the wake of Tommy Wright's departure, John Cunningham and Glenn Ferguson will take charge of Lisburn Distillery for their home game against Donegal Celtic.

Carling Premiership - Saturday 5 November - 1500 GMT

Carrick Rangers v Dungannon Swifts

Cliftonville v Linfield

Coleraine v Ballymena Utd

Glenavon v Portadown

Glentoran v Crusaders

Lisburn Distillery v Donegal Celtic