Match of the day is acid test

Kevin Braniff celebrates his winning goal at Linfield a few weeks ago.
Kevin Braniff celebrates his winning goal at Linfield a few weeks ago.

Mourneview Park will feature the match of the day in the Danske Bank Premiership on Saturday as Glenavon bid to clinch a ‘double’ over Linfield.

Only a few weeks ago Kevin Braniff’s sublime free kick gave Gary Hamilton’s side a deserved 1-0 win at Windsor Park and with confidence high in the home camp there is no reason why they cannot do it again.

However, despite the lofty position of second spot and ahead of his own targets, manager Gary Hamilton is rightly cautious despite Linfield having lost three on the trot including Tuesday’s Co Antrim Shield defeat by Crusaders.

Gary said, “We are in a great position now, but that can all change so quickly in this league. Linfield are still the favourites. They have a better team, I’m not being negative I am being realistic.

“The last time we had a good run it all ended with a bang and we lost four of the next five - that is how tough it can be in this league.

“I don’t think any team bar Cliftonville has been able to find any consistency this season. Last year the second and third placed teams lost seven or eight games - we are only into November and already teams who will challenge have lost four games.

“We played really well to win at Linfield recently and if we can maintain the present form and especially keep our work rate high then we certainly have a chance.

“We are able to complete and give teams like Linfield a game which is fantastic for the fans and the club.”

Glenavon are ahead of the rest in one statistic - they have won more than any other team, eight wins from 14 games. There has been whispers of Glenavon perhaps emerging as a title contender - but Hamilton is quick to knock that back for now.

“Our target is and remains to finish in the top six and maybe try and improve on last season’s final position.”

Glenavon will remain unchanged for the third game in a row.