Striker Mark McAllister back as Linfield face Glenavon

Mark McAllister is Linfield's top scorer this season
Mark McAllister was suspended for Linfield's match against Glentoran

Linfield's top scorer Mark McAllister is free to return for Saturday's Premiership clash with Glenavon after serving a suspension.

McAllister, the only Blues player in double figures with 13 goals this season, had to sit out Monday's defeat at Glentoran because of a one-game ban.

Linfield have also been boosted by the recent returns of forwards Peter Thompson and Rory Patterson.

David Jeffrey's champions are two points ahead of Portadown at the top.

The match is Glenavon's second trip to Windsor Park in a fortnight as they were beaten 1-0 at the Belfast venue on 17 December in Gary Hamilton's first match as manager.

Third-placed Cliftonville, who have lost two out of three in the league, face another tough clash with Coleraine.

The Bannsiders, sitting in fourth, have already registered two 2-1 wins at Solitude in December - in the Premiership and the League Cup semi-final.

Glentoran, buoyed by their derby victory over Belfast rivals Linfield, are away to Dungannon.

Recent signings Stewart Greacen and Eamon Murray cannot make their Glens debuts until January.

The big match at the foot of the table sees bottom-placed Lisburn Distillery at home to Carrick Rangers.

John Cunningham is still seeking his first win since taking over as Distillery manager in early November, their latest setback coming in the Boxing Day defeat at Donegal Celtic.

"We should have got something from that match, but we were caught by a sucker punch," said Cunningham.

"It has been happening too often recently.

"Carrick is an important game for us, but they are all important.

"Every point from now until the end of the season is vital."

Ballymena United, about to name their new manager, are at home to Donegal Celtic.