Cliftonville's James Knowles to miss title clash with Crusaders

James Knowles

Cliftonville teenager James Knowles is out of the top-two Premiership clash with Crusaders at Solitude on Boxing Day because of an ankle injury.

The midfielder sustained ligament damage during a reserves outing.

Crusaders, who trail the Reds by six points, are missing the banned Jordan Owens for the north Belfast derby.

"One stroke of quality may be decisive in what should be a close game - someone has a chance to become a hero," said Crues boss Stephen Baxter.

Linfield defender William Murphy misses the Big Two showdown against Glentoran after suffering concussion in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Crusaders.

Philip Lowry is an injury doubt along with Michael Gault, who is available again after sitting out the Crues game through suspension.

Bans rule out Glentoran trio Jason Hill, Mark Clarke and William Garrett for the trip to Windsor Park.

Ballymena United host Coleraine on Wednesday with the Sky Blues chasing a first derby victory in three years.

The task for Ballymena is made more difficult by the suspension of Alan Davidson and Tony Kane.

Donegal Celtic striker Mark Miskimmin is banned for the festive basement battle against Lisburn Distillery at New Grosvenor.

DC will also be without another Shane Dolan who left the club over the weekend.

Glenavon will move above Portadown if they win the Mid Ulster derby at Shamrock Park.

The Ports will be without suspended pair Gary Breen and Darren Murray.

Ballinamallard midfielder Conor O'Grady returns for the Stangmore Park meeting with Dungannon Swifts after recovering from an ankle.

A hat-trick for the reserves earns striker Liam Martin a recall to the squad but Mark McConkey (knee) and Stuart Hutchinson (groin) are long-term absentess.

Wednesday 26 December - 15:00 GMT kick-off

Danske Bank Premiership

Ballymena Utd v Coleraine

Cliftonville v Crusaders

Dungannon Swifts v Ballinamallard Utd

Linfield v Glentoran

Lisburn Distillery v Donegal Celtic

Portadown v Glenavon