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Cliftonville v Crusaders Live – Northern Ireland League Cup Final Promises Sparks

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CliftonvilleKick Off: Saturday 26th January
Live on TV: Sky Sports 1 5:30pm

Windsor Park plays host to the Irn-Bru League cup final on Saturday evening and what a final we have in store for us. We have Cliftonville taking on north Belfast rivals Crusaders, who are the current holders of the cup after beating Coleraine in last year’s final.

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Both teams come in to this game on a good run of form and so they should be considering they occupy 1st & 2nd in the league, Cliftonville have a 9 point lead over Crusaders in the league but this a cup final and anything can happen.

Tommy Breslin’s men have been superb all season and deserve all the plaudits that have been coming their way, they enter this game as slight favourites over their rivals with Betfred giving 6/5 for them to win the game inside the 90 minutes and 4/7 to lift the trophy.

The hatchet men from Seaview will have different ideas though and won’t want to give up their title easily, they just beat Linfield through the week to progress to the next round of the Irish cup and will come here high on confidence after 5 wins and 1 draw in the last 6 games, Betfred offer 21/10 for the win inside the 90 minutes and 6/4 for Crusaders to come away with the trophy after extra time or penalties.

These two teams don’t normally play out draws with each other and have only drew 3 games in the last 18 when the two sides have met but if you fancy a draw here and can see extra time on the cards then Betfred offer 23/10

If you go even further back into the record books you will find that this fixture is just filled with goals, 55 in the last 15 fixtures to be exact, that’s an average of 3.67 goals per game, out of the 15 games contested 11 of these matches have produced over 2.5 goals and Betfred offer 8/15 for this outcome to happen again at Windsor Park

The main reason for both teams performing so well this season is down to their strikers and Cliftonville have one of the best in the league right now in the shape of Liam Boyce, this boy just scores fun and has 19 goals to name already in 26 league games as well as 3 in this competition, Betfred offer 4/1 for Boyce to open the scoring here on Saturday evening with evens on offer for him to score anytime.

Crusaders have a few lethal weapons up front themselves with Jordan Owens, Timmy Adamson and Gary McCutheon all on 10 league goals to date, it was Timmy Adamson who got the winning goal on Tuesday night to knock Linfield out of the Irish cup although nothing can separate these players at the minute in terms of goal threat and the bookies feel the same way with 6/1 and 7/4 on offer from Betfred for either of the 3 players to open the scoring or score anytime respectively.

This game has all the ingredients for a superb cup final and I think the Sky Sports viewers could be in for a real treat here come 5:30pm on Saturday night, Cliftonville certainly didn’t disappoint last time the sky sports cameras came into town when they beat Glentoran 4-1 after going 1-0 down, I believe Crusaders will have more to offer than Glentoran. No quarter will be given from either side and hopefully by the end of the game we will have a few new admirers of Irish league football.

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