IRISH LEAGUE: 2016/17 Danske Bank Premiership fixtures are revealed

Crusaders will start the defence of their title against Ballymena United

Crusaders will start the defence of their title against Ballymena United

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Champions Crusaders will kick-off the defence of their Danske Bank Premiership title against Ballymena United.

The Crues will launch their bid to clinch three Gibson Cups on the bounce when they entertain David Jeffrey’s Sky Blues at Seaview on August 6.

Linfield – who finished eight points behind Crusaders last season to finish as runners-up – embark on their Premiership campaign with a trip to Ballinamallard United.

The Mallards avoided relegation last season courtesy of a tense play-off win against Institute.

Ards – who earned promotion from Championship 1 last term – will kick-off their return to the top flight with a home game against Cliftonville.

Irish Cup winners Glenavon have home advantage against Carrick Rangers, while Portadown – who could start the season with a 12-point deficit – travel to Coleraine.

Meanwhile, Glentoran will entertain Dungannon Swifts at The Oval.

Crusaders meet Linfield at Seaview on the third match day of the season on August 13.

Boxing Day’s derby fixtures see Cliftonville and Linfield have home advantage against Crusaders and Glentoran respectively, while Coleraine travel to Ballymena.

Portadown host Glenavon while Dungannon entertain Ballinamallard. Carrick also play Ards at Taylor’s Avenue.

The season will split into a top and bottom six on March 25 for the final five fixtures of the campaign.

Full fixture list (subject to change):

August 6, 2016, 3pm

Crusaders v Ballymena United

Glenavon v Carrick Rangers

Glentoran v Dungannon Swifts

Ballinamallard v Linfield

Coleraine v Portadown

Ards v Cliftonville

August 10, 2016, 7.45pm

Linfield v Coleraine

Portadown v Ballinamallard

Cliftonville v Glentoran

Ballymena United v Glenavon

Carrick Rangers v Crusaders

Dungannon v Ards

August 13, 2016, 3pm

Crusaders v Linfield

Glenavon v Cliftonville

Glentoran vCarrick Rangers

Ballinamallard v Ballymena United

Dungannon v Coleraine

Ards v Portadown

AUGUST 20, 2016, 3PM

Linfield v Glenavon

Portadown v Glentoran

Cliftonville vDungannon Swifts

Ballymena United v Ards

Carrick Rangers v Ballinamallard United

Coleraine v Crusaders

AUGUST 27, 2016, 3PM

Crusaders v Portadown

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Glenavon v Ards

Ballinamallard v Cliftonville

Carrick Rangers v Ballymena United

Coleraine v Glentoran

SEPTEMBER 3, 2016, 3PM

Portadown v Carrick Rangers

Cliftonville v Linfield

Glentoran v Glenavon

Ballinamallard v Coleraine

Dungannon v Ballymena United

Ards v Crusaders

SEPTEMBER 10, 2016, 3PM

Crusaders v Dungannon Swifts

Linfield v Portadown

Glenavon v Ballinamallard United

Ballymena United v Cliftonville

Coleraine v Carrick Rangers

Ards v Glentoran

SEPTEMBER 17, 2016, 3PM

Portadown v Ballymena United

Cliftonville v Coleraine

Glentoran v Crusaders

Ballinamallard v Ards

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Dungannon vGlenavon

SEPTEMBER 24, 2016, 3PM

Crusaders v Ballinamallard United

Linfield v Ards

Portadown v Cliftonville

Ballymena United v Glentoran

Carrick Rangers v Dungannon Swifts

Colerainev Glenavon

OCTOBER 1, 2016, 3PM

Crusaders v Cliftonville

Glenavon v Portadown

Glentoran v Linfield

Ballinamallard v Dungannon Swifts

Coleraine v Ballymena United

Ards v Carrick Rangers

OCTOBER 8, 2016, 3PM

Glenavon v Crusaders

Cliftonville v Carrick Rangers

Glentoran v Ballinamallard United

Ballymena United v Linfield

Dungannon v Portadown

Ards v Coleraine

OCTOBER 15, 2016, 3PM

Ballymena United v Crusaders

Carrick Rangers v Glenavon

Dungannon v Glentoran

Linfield v Ballinamallard United

Portadown v Coleraine

Cliftonville v Ards

OCTOBER 22, 2016, 3PM

Coleraine v Linfield

Ballinamallard v Portadown

Glentoran v Cliftonville

Glenavon v Ballymena United

Crusaders v Carrick Rangers

Ards v Dungannon Swifts

OCTOBER 29, 2016, 3PM

Linfield v Crusaders

Cliftonville v Glenavon

Carrick Rangers v Glentoran

Ballymena United v Ballinamallard United

Coleraine v Dungannon Swifts

Portadown v Ards

NOVEMBER 5, 2016, 3PM

Glenavon v Linfield

Glentoran v Portadown

Dungannon v Cliftonville

Ards v Ballymena United

Ballinamallard v Carrick Rangers

Crusaders v Coleraine

NOVEMBER 12, 2016, 3PM

Portadown v Crusaders

Dungannon v Linfield

Ards v Glenavon

Cliftonville v Ballinamallard United

Ballymena United v Carrick Rangers

Glentoran v Coleraine

NOVEMBER 19, 2016, 3PM

Carrick Rangers v Portadown

Linfield v Cliftonville

Glenavon v Glentoran

Coleraine v Ballinamallard United

Ballymena United v Dungannon Swifts

Crusaders vArds

NOVEMBER 26, 2016, 3PM

Dungannon v Crusaders

Portadown v Linfield

Ballinamallard v Glenavon

Cliftonville v Ballymena United

Carrick Rangers v Coleraine

Glentoran v Ards

dECEMBER 3, 2016, 3PM

Ballymena United v Portadown

Coleraine v Cliftonville

Crusaders v Glentoran

Ards v Ballinamallard United

Linfield v Carrick Rangers

Glenavon v Dungannon Swifts

DECEMBER 10, 2016, 3PM

Ballinamallard v Crusaders

Ards v Linfield

Cliftonville v Portadown

Glentoran v Ballymena United

Dungannon v Carrick Rangers

Glenavon v Coleraine

DECEMBER 17, 2016, 3PM

Crusaders v Glenavon

Carrick Rangers v Cliftonville

Ballinamallard v Glentoran

Linfield vBallymena United

Portadown v Dungannon Swifts

Coleraine v Ards

DECEMBER 26, 2016, 3PM

Cliftonville v Crusaders

Portadown v Glenavon

Linfield v Glentoran

Dungannon v Ballinamallard United

Ballymena United v Coleraine

Carrick Rangers v Ards

DECEMBER 31, 2016, 3PM

Crusaders v Linfield

Glenavon v Cliftonville

Glentoran v Dungannon Swifts

Ballinamallard v Portadown

Coleraine v Carrick Rangers

Ards v Ballymena United

JANUARY 3, 2017, 7.45PM

Linfield v Coleraine

Portadown v Glentoran

Cliftonville v Carrick Rangers

Ballymena United v Glenavon

Dungannon v Ballinamallard United

Ards v Crusaders

JANUARY 14, 2017, 3PM

Glenavon v Linfield

Cliftonville v Ards

Glentoran v Crusaders

Ballymena Unitedv Dungannon Swifts

Carrick Rangers v Ballinamallard United

Coleraine v Portadown

JANUARY 21, 2017, 3PM

Crusaders v Cliftonville

Linfield v Ballymena United

Portadown v Glenavon

Ballinamallard v Coleraine

Carrick Rangers v Dungannon Swifts

Ards v Glentoran

JANUARY 28, 2017, 3PM

Glenavon v Crusaders

Cliftonville v Portadown

Glentoran v Ballinamallard United

Ballymena United v Carrick Rangers

Coleraine v Ards

Dungannon v Linfield

FEBRUARY 11, 2017, 3PM

Crusaders v Ballymena United

Portadown v Ards

Glentoran v Glenavon

Ballinamallard v Cliftonville

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Coleraine v Dungannon Swifts

FEBRUARY 17, 2017, 7.45PM

Linfield v Portadown

Glenavon v Ballinamallard United

Cliftonville v Glentoran

Ballymena United v Coleraine

Dungannon v Crusaders

Ards v Carrick Rangers

FEBRUARY 25, 2017, 3PM

Portadown v Crusaders

Cliftonville v Coleraine

Glentoran v Linfield

Ballinamallard v Ballymena United

Carrick Rangers v Glenavon

Dungannon v Ards

MARCH 11, 2017, 3PM

Crusaders v Carrick Rangers

Linfield v Cliftonville

Glenavon v Dungannon Swifts

Ballymena United v Portadown

Coleraine v Glentoran

Ards v Ballinamallard United

MARCH 18, 2017, 3PM

Crusaders v Ballinamallard United

Linfield v Ards

Glenavon v Coleraine

Ballymena United v Glentoran

Carrick Rangers v Portadown

Dungannon v Cliftonville

MARCH 25, 2017, 3PM

Portadown v Dungannon Swifts

Cliftonville v Ballymena United

Glentoran v Carrick Rangers

Ballinamallard v Linfield

Coleraine v Crusaders

Ards v Glenavon