Linfield striker Mark McAllister ruled out of Premiership game with Donegal Celtic

Mark McAllister
Mark McAllister is ruled out by injury

Linfield striker Mark McAllister has been ruled out of Saturday's Premiership game against Donegal Celtic because of a recurring ankle injury.

Defender Chris Casement is unavailable because of a back spasm, while Aaron Burns is making slow progress in his recovery from a hamstring complaint.

Albert Watson is available after overcoming an ankle injury.

Glentoran have doubts over Jimmy Callacher, Richard Gibson and Elliott Morris for their trip to Crusaders.

The Crues are without Aidan Watson but Declan Caddell is available again.

Watson is serving the second part of a two-game ban, while Caddell returns after suspension.

"There is only goal difference separating us and the Glens, so it's very important that we focus on finishing as high up the league as possible," said Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter.

"We have other fish to fry in terms of the Irish Cup and the Setanta Cup, but for now we are concentrating on the league," he added.

Baxter's Glentoran counterpart Eddie Patterson admitted to finding his return to management "tough enough".

"Expectations are high, and we have a few injuries at the moment, but we've got to deal with it," commented Patterson.

Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin must plan without suspended quartet John Connolly, George McMullan, Ronan Scanell and Dermot McVeigh for their home game against Glenavon.

On a more positive note, Mark Clarke, Stephen Garrett and Joe Gormley all return to action for the Solitude Reds.

"We still have a European spot and second place to play for, so we're looking to get as many points as possible," said Breslin.

Glenavon have Jay Magee serving a one-game suspension.

Lisburn Distillery are without suspended winger David Cushley as they prepare to entertain Coleraine.

The Bannsiders do not have the services of Aaron Canning, who is also banned.

Ballymena boss Glenn Ferguson says he is "down to his last 16 or 17 players" for United's match with Dungannon Swifts at the Showgrounds.

Ferguson envisages few changes from the side which drew with Distillery last weekend.

Premiership fixtures - Saturday 17 March - 1500 GMT kick-offs

Ballymena United v Dungannon Swifts

Cliftonville v Glenavon

Crusaders v Glentoran

Linfield v Donegal Celtic

Lisburn Distillery v Coleraine