The TOALSBookmakers.com Co. Antrim Shield finally gets underway at Seaview on Tuesday night (7.45pm) as Crusaders and Linfield clash in another massive game. Both sides met in the final of the competition two years ago with Linfield winning 3-1 but Crusaders came back last year to win it against Ballymena United and will be trying their best to retain it again.
Crusaders did not play at the weekend after their Premiership game away at Warrenpoint Town was called off due to an unplayable surface. They still came in for training at Seaview and they will be ready both physically and mentally for this one. They have not played for over a week and just want to get started. Expect little change to the side that started against Glenavon Friday week back unless someone reports with an injury. Paul Heatley and Jordan Owens still recover from their respective injuries although Jordan did play against Coleraine a few weeks ago and we wait to see if they have recovered enough. Midfield is an area where positions are hotly contested but Philip Lowry and Matthew Snoddy will be pushing to start after being named a s substitutes against Glenavon but Stephen may stick with what he had before. Both Rory Patterson and Ronan Hale are ready to start if Jordan Owens does not make it. No motivation will be needed for this one and they will look at the recent Irish Cup win over Linfield as a pointer.
Linfield go into the game on the back of a 2-0 defeat by Glenavon on Friday night and Crusaders will be wary of a backlash from David Healys side. Linfield do have the upper hand on recent results over Crusaders but they know that finals are a different matter and will prepare as such. Linfield have a lot of talent on show and their main threat is Andrew Waterworth but they are capable of scoring all round the team and are dangerous in many areas. David Healy will send out his side looking to get their second piece of silverware but they know this will be hard fought and they have no given right to win.
So all set for this cracker and it is one not to be missed. Very few tickets are left and there will be no cash gate on the night. Make sure you are aware of arrangements for entering the ground (see social media and website) and be at the ground early with turnstiles opening at 6.30pm. Be loud and be proud and let the lads know you are there. We want your full backing from start to finish like you have done so often this season. If you cannot make the game it is of course on the BBC website and media platforms. We are Crusaders. Keep The Faith.