Linfield boss David Healy plans squad rotation in County Antrim Shield clash with PSNI

Linfield boss David Healy
Linfield boss David Healy

Linfield manager David Healy is set to give fringe players a chance to impress in tonight’s Co Antrim Shield first-round game against PSNI.

The league leaders won the competition in 2017 and they start their bid against the Championship side at Windsor Park.

“We played the PSNI in pre-season and it will be a tough game, although one we’re looking forward to,” said Healy.

“We will have the opportunity to give other people minutes on the pitch.”

Crusaders lost out in the 2017 decider to the Blues but they made amends a year later by beating Ballymena United in a Showgrounds final.

Premiership sides are kept apart in the first round and Stephen Baxter’s men begin their defence against Knockbreda at Seaview.

Cliftonville will look to bounce back from Saturday’s surprise defeat by a Warrenpoint Town side which went into the game without a point from five games.

It leaves the Reds seventh in the standings and already nine points off the pace as they prepare to host Lisburn Distillery.

“It might be the best thing to have a game quickly after Saturday and we will aim to get back to winning ways,” said Reds midfielder Chris Curran.

“We have a lot of things to do about what we want to do as a group of players as it hasn’t been good enough.

“Tuesday night’s game gives us the opportunity to try and put things right.”

There’s seven matches tonight with Nixon Park the neutral venue for tomorrow’s encounter between Ballymena United and H&W Welders.

The match is being held in Ballyclare as Ballymena’s is not yet available after being re-laid over the summer.

The first-round and quarter-final draws were both made in July and it sets up the possibility of Linfield meeting Glentoran and a north Belfast derby between Crusaders and Cliftonville.