After last week's disappointing result at Suffolk Road against Donegal Celtic, our chance to bounce back with a win couldn't be a more difficult fixture. Glentoran play league leaders Cliftonville at The Oval where three points would be a huge boost to the club's title ambitions however defeat would leave us 12 points off the pace. After a recent blip in form, The Glens have slipped to 5th in the table, 3 points behind Crusaders in 4th position and now just 2 points ahead of Linfield despite their stuttering start to the campaign.
On the injury front there is better news for The Glens as Andy Waterworth, Calum Birney and Richard Gibson all played for the reserves this week and may be back in the squad. Jay Magee has also returned to fitness however disappointingly for him, he faces suspension having picked up five yellow cards. The only long-term injury still in place for the first-team is that of captain Colin Nixon who still has a number of weeks before returning.
Our visitors Cliftonville are high on confidence, sitting four points clear at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership. After the 1-1 draw between the two sides at Solitude earlier in the season, Cliftonville's form has since been excellent, losing just one game on their travels at the hands of North Belfast rivals Crusaders. Up front, Cliftonville have been prolific so far this season and are top scorers in the league. Liam Boyce leads the scoring chart with 11 goals and has set up a formidable partnership with Joe Gormley. A familiar face will return to The Oval at right back for Cliftonville with Jaimie McGovern signing for The Reds from The Oval in the summer.
Saturday's game is a vital game as Glentoran search for a return to the early season form which saw a number of very impressive displays. Tomorrow's game is a chance to put the last few weeks of poor results behind us with a positive display against the form side of the Danske Bank Premiership. Hopefully the fans will get behind the team and help push us back on form with three points come 5pm.