Crusaders’ Stephen Baxter set for another ‘ding dong’ derby with Linfield

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter is relishing tonight’s clash with league leaders Linfield - anticipating another ‘ding dong’ to add to the history of high-stakes fixtures in the city derby.

By Patrick Van Dort
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 7:00 am

The Blues hold a single-point advantage over Cliftonville at the head of the Premiership standings entering the final three fixtures.

Tonight’s full programme presents a string of eye-catching tests across both ends of the table and with European ambitions in the spotlight.

The Crues sit fourth - three points off Glentoran and 10 ahead of Larne - before taking on David Healy’s Linfield.

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

“The games against Linfield this year have been really good,” said Baxter. “We beat them at Seaview, they’ve beaten us twice at Windsor.

“The games have been very close...they beat us with a 93rd-minute header in a brilliant game last time.

“David (Healy) is a very shrewd operator.

“He’s chasing his fourth title in as many years.

“He’s an absolute gentleman, a great guy.

“He knows his football inside out, he knows what he’s looking for.

“They had a scout watching us against Coleraine, they’ll know everything about us and we’ll know everything about them.

“At this time of the year it’s always going to be a ding dong.

“They’ll know they’re not coming down to us to get a favour and, likewise, when Cliftonville come on Saturday.

“If you’re going to win a title you have to earn it and David knows that.

“We’ll just get on with it because we have to look after ourselves.”

TONIGHT’S FIXTURES: Ballymena United v Warrenpoint Town, Carrick Rangers v Glenavon, Coleraine v Cliftonville, Crusaders v Linfield, Glentoran v Larne, Portadown v Dungannon Swifts.