Cliftonville provide the opposition at Mourneview Park for the final league game of the Danske Bank 2018/19 season with attention beginning to turn towards the Europa League play-offs. A point tomorrow would guarantee Glenavon a third place finish after Tuesday night’s seven goal thriller at Warden Street saw Ballymena United seal their second place finish.
Depending on the outcome of tomorrow’s game between Glentoran and Institute and whether Crusaders or Ballinamallard win the Irish cup next Saturday, leaves four possible scenarios for the play-offs, as explained by the NI Football League here.
Finishing third could be significant for Glenavon should Crusaders lose in the Irish Cup as the two sides would then face each other in the play-off semi-final with the team finishing in the higher league position having home advantage.
All will become clear in due course!
A win tomorrow would see Glenavon set a club record by finishing on 70 points but as Gary Hamilton told us “We’ll be going to try to win tomorrow, secure third and finish on a record points tally but, even if we do that, we could still miss out on Europe.
“Cliftonville, apart from the other night against Linfield, have been on a tremendous run since Paddy took over and we know we’ll get a difficult game tomorrow but we want to finish the season on a high by winning tomorrow and we’ll be going out to do so.
“We have to take into consideration all the players who have been playing a lot of games and some have been playing with injuries and we have potentially two massive games coming up if we are lucky enough to win the semi-final and get to the final of the play-offs. We’ve had to get them to play anyway because of potentially finishing second. Now that that’s ruled out we have to be careful to manage the squad.
“It means a lot to me and to the squad to try and get the three points tomorrow but we have to make sure that we give ourselves every chance of qualifying for Europe – it’s a Catch 22 situation. I’m really proud of the boys regardless of the result tomorrow. Coming off the back of a season where we’ve lost so many key players and players to injury and staff members as well. It’s still been an incredible season and it’ll be nice to finish the season on a high but our main focus now has to go on the playoff games.”
Last five league games
Glenavon:W W D W L
Cliftonville: W W D W L
Head to Head
Last ten games in all competitions
Glenavon: W4 D4 L2 F21 A17, Average goals per game: 3.8
- Match Sponsor: Tritex Core Company (Trim Co Meath)
- Ball Sponsor: Patience Rewarded Syndicate
- Man of the Match Sponsor: Barry Craig
Referee: Tony Clarke; Assistants: Paul Robinson, Mark O’Brien; 4th Official: Gareth Stewart