Champions Linfield eye sixth double in seven seasons

Linfield celebrate their win over Crusaders in the 2011 Irish Cup final
Linfield celebrate their win over Crusaders in the 2011 Irish Cup final

JJB IRISH CUP SEMI-FINAL: LINFIELD v NEWRY CITY

Venue:
The Oval
Date:
Saturday, 14 April
Kick-off:
1500 BST
Coverage:
Live commentary on BBC Radio Ulster & BBC Sport website

Manager David Jeffrey says Linfield have prepared thoroughly for Saturday's Irish Cup semi-final against Championship One underdogs Newry City.

Having already retained the Irish Premiership, the Belfast Blues are just two wins away from a sixth league and cup double in seven seasons.

Apart from long-term absentee Aaron Burns, Linfield are at full strength.

Former Manchester United defender Pat McGibbon
Newry are managed by former Manchester United defender Pat McGibbon

"We must dismiss all thoughts about our league success. Our focus now has to be on Newry," said boss Jeffrey.

"We have had Newry watched three times. We are preparing as we do for every game, in a thorough and professional way."

Newry are in the semi-finals for the first time in 25 years - despite losing 2-1 to Ballymena United in the quarter-finals.

After the match, Newry successfully claimed that Ballymena's Alan Davidson had not been eligible because he had been signed after the 31 January cup deadline.

Ballymena were thrown out of the cup and Newry handed the semi-final place.

It would be a huge upset if Newry, managed by former Manchester United defender Pat McGibbon, went through to a 5 May final date with Crusaders.

The border club's hopes of catching Ballinamallard United at the top of the Championship were ended by last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Limavady United.

There are also five Premiership games on Saturday, with Carrick Rangers three points adrift at the bottom as they prepare to take on Ballymena United at the Showgrounds.

Carling Premiership (1500 BST)

Ballymena Utd v Carrick Rangers

Cliftonville v Crusaders

Dungannon Swifts v Lisburn Distillery

Glenavon v Donegal Celtic

Portadown v Glentoran

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