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Crusaders v Linfield Shield Final Preview

 It's the Co.Antrim Senior Shield on Tuesday night and Crusaders and Linfield meet for the third time in as many weeks in the Final. Currently one a piece in this little "mini batttle" both sides will be looking to take home the Shield and gave their supporters something to cheer about. 

Crusaders are the current holders and will not be wanting to lose the grip of the Shield so easily and will look to Saturdays win over their opponents as inspiration to do it again. We could see changes in the starting line up after the bruising extra time win and niggles and tired legs will be assessed before naming the side. Sean O'Neill may retain his place his place in goal but in front of him we will see changes in defence with both Howard Beverland and Michael Ruddy in the wars on Saturday. Colin Coates and Kyle Owens are available again after suspension so it could be that Billy Joe Burns is the only starting defender from Saturday. Midfield could see a few rested to the bench and it could mean starts for Matthew Snoddy, Reece McGinley and Philip Lowry if this was to happen but at the same time it could be as you where such was the performance last time out they could all start again. Up front Rory Patterson. Jordan Owens and Ronan Hale will all look to get the nod and we wait too see who is chosen. Everyone will be given a chance to recover by Stephen before naming the side but whoever plays will be asked for more of the same fighting spirit that was shown on Saturday.

Linfield will be the same as Crusaders and many tired legs will be assessed and possibly a few changed faces in the line up. They will be looking to bounce back from Saturdays elimination from the cup and Crusaders will be ready for the "wounded animal" when they go again. Linfield could start their new keeper Conor Mitchell for this one or stick with Gareth Deane who has played well so far since taking over from Roy Carroll while up front Andy Waterworth could make a start after coming on as sub on Saturday. Others from the bench such as Kirk Millar and Matthew Clarke may get a start while Stephen Fallon and Jordan Stewart could miss out if not passed fit.

The game kicks off at 7.45pm at the Ballymena Showgrounds and it is All Ticket. Crusaders supporters will be seated in the Ballymena Home Stand and can enter via the Ecos Centre Roundabout just like last years Final. Let's hear and see you once again and be the 12th man as we look to retain the Shield. It would be great to have your support at The Showgrounds. Keep The Faith.

Note: A pitch inspection will take place at 2.30pm. We will let you know immediately the result of this.

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