Irish Premiership: Champions Crusaders face Portadown opener

Crusaders celebrate their league title success in April
Crusaders celebrate their league title success in April

Irish Premiership champions Crusaders will begin the defence of their league title against Portadown at Seaview on Saturday 8 August.

Newly promoted Carrick Rangers travel to Dungannon Swifts on the opening day, with last season's runners-up Linfield at home to Ballymena United.

Elsewhere, Glenavon will play host to Cliftonville and Coleraine entertain Glentoran at Ballycastle Road.

Warrenpoint Town will face Ballinamallard United at Milltown.

The second round of fixtures will follow quickly on Wednesday 12 August, when the pick of the matches see Crusaders away to Glentoran and Cliftonville against Coleraine.

The league will again be played over 38 series of fixtures, with the customary late season split of top six and bottom six clubs taking place after 33 matches.

Crusaders ran out convincing winners of last season's campaign, finishing 10 points ahead of nearest challengers Linfield.

Danske Bank Premiership fixtures - Saturday 8 August

Crusaders v Portadown

Linfield v Ballymena Utd

Glenavon v Cliftonville

Coleraine v Glentoran

Dungannon Swifts v Carrick Rangers

Warrenpoint Town v Ballinamallard United

Wednesday 12 August

Portadown v Warrenpoint Town

Cliftonville v Coleraine

Glentoran v Crusaders

Ballinamallard United v Dungannon Swifts

Ballymena Utd v Glenavon

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

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