Crusaders manager Baxter wary of minnows in League Cup

Stephen Baxter is set to make changes for the League Cup opener
Stephen Baxter is set to make changes for the League Cup opener

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter is predicting a tough test against Championship side Knockbreda in their League Cup opener at Seaview.

The Premiership champions won the competition in 2012 but lost out the final in the next two years.

"We know it won't be easy - Knockbreda are a very good team and they've beaten good sides this season," said Baxter.

There are 12 second round games on Tuesday night, including Linfield hosting Glebe Rangers.

The possible upsets include Moyola Park hosting struggling Ballymena United and Larne at home against Portadown.

Baxter plans to give fringe players an opportunity to impress against a Knockbreda side sitting fourth and unbeaten in Championship One.

"It's a game where I want to see something from the lads who haven't been playing all of the time," he added.

"There's a lot of very good players, sitting about, who have not played enough.

"I need to see them in action, see them do well and be hungry for the shirt."

Ballinamallard go into their second-round meeting with Banbridge Town boosted by the signing of defender Emmet Friars on a permanent deal.

Friars had originally joined the Co Fermanagh side on loan from Crusaders until January.

Cliftonville, who have won the League Cup for the last three seasons, will start their defence of the trophy against Dundela on Wednesday night.

JBE League Cup second round

Tuesday, 1 September - 19:45 BST

Ballinamallard United v Banbridge Town

Carrick Rangers v Lurgan Celtic

Coleraine v Ballyclare Comrades

Crusaders v Knockbreda

Dergview v Ards

Dollingstown v H & W Welders (18:30)

Glentoran v PSNI

Institute v Sport & Leisure

Larne v Portadown

Limavady United v Bangor

Linfield v Glebe Rangers

Moyola Park v Ballymena United