On the back of back to back league victories against Dungannon Swifts followed by Lisburn Distillery, Glentoran have seemingly put a halt to the poor run of form that plagued October. The consecutive league victories have seen The Glens rise ahead of Linfield and Ballymena Utd into 5th in the league standings. We remain 9 points off Cliftonville at the top but have closed the gap to inside two points of second place Crusaders and just one point on Ballinamallard Utd and Saturday's oponents Coleraine.
The team news for Saturday's game has no new developments from last week's game. Marcus Kane and Stuart Elliott have been the recent absentees and are not expected to feature. The ankle injury that has plagued Calum Birney's comeback for some months has stopped him being fit to play for the first team, despite making a couple of appearances for The Seconds. He is not expected to feature on Saturday either. Colin Nixon has regained fitness following a lengthy absence however has work to do to break back into the side after a number of impressive performances from Jimmy Callacher and Jay Magee.
Our hosts Coleraine always pose a tricky tie. They have suffered a slump in form of recent which has seen them slip from second to fourth having won just one game of their last seven. The win however was a thrilling 3-2 victory over Linfield, watched by most via the Sky Sports cameras. With the goalscoring ability of Curtis Allen and former Glentoran player Darren Boyce up front, compiled with one of the form players of the Danske Bank Premiership, Stephen Lowry in midfield, the difficulty for The Glens is clear.
Coleraine have drawn 4 consecutive league matches by 1-1 score giving them a label of draw specialists. Further to add to the potential for the shares being spoilt, the last 5 league fixtures between Glentoran and Coleraine have ended in a stalemate, the last of which a 0-0 at The Oval earlier this season. Interestingly, Glentoran have only beaten 1 side out of the top 8 so far this season, a 3-1 win away to Ballinamallard Utd. In what is already proving such a tight campaign, the results against the other teams at the top are crucial and 3 points tomorrow would most likely be considered our best result of the season to date.