Glenavon’s final match before the split, with a top six finish already secured, sees them head to the Bangor Fuels Arena to take on Ards. The hosts have picked up 7 points from their last five games and with a 12 point lead over second-bottom Carrick Rangers, are probably safe from any relegation play-off concerns. This leaves them free to have a real go at catching the teams above them, Colin Nixon’s side only trailing 7th placed Dungannon Swifts by four points.
Glenavon has lost just once in the last five league games (the defeat to Coleraine last Saturday), registering home wins against Ballinamallard and Dungannon with 0-0 draws away to Glentoran and Carrick.
Gary Hamilton has been clear in his comments after last week’s defeat at home to Coleraine that his priority is to avoid any serious injuries or suspensions kicking in ahead of next Saturday’s Irish Cup Semi-final. “It’ll be a different starting eleven next week,” he told BBC Sport in his post-match comments. “We’re never going to catch third place now, given the way results have gone, so next week (against Ards) we will rest the starting eleven for the following week and make sure that they’re right and they’re ready. They’ll do a training session and some will play a part in the Reserves game, on a grass pitch because obviously it’s a 4G pitch at Bangor and that’s the kind of pitch that I feel players can pick up injuries very quickly and that’s the last thing I want.”