FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW: Portadown v Glenavon
Matthew Fitzpatrick is delighted as he scores to put Glenavon in front against Portadown. Picture: Maynard Collins.
Friday 27 August 2021 11:00
The Danske Bank Premiership returns tonight and opens with Glenavon looking to put right the pain of last season's first night loss to Portadown.
The Lurgan Blues travel to Shamrock Park, with Gary Hamilton saying his players need to show the right mentality to get the right result against their neighbours.
Supporters are feeling optimistic ahead of the new season after Hamilton brought in the Linfield trio of Andy Waterworth, Mark Stafford and Mark Haughey, as well as the highly-rated Danny Wallace from Warrenpoint.
But can the stats provide any more reasons to be cheerful? Here's our five things you need to know about Glenavon v Portadown.
Excluding the two inter-club friendlies, Glenavon go into the game off the back of an unbeaten pre-season. They scored 18 goals in five games against Bluebell United, Crumlin United, Rathfriland Rangers, Portstewart and Dollingstown, conceding just two. The Ports won just one pre-season game against Laurelvale (6-0), while losing to Comber Rec, Dollingstown, Monaghan United and Coleraine and drawing 2-2 with Knockbreda.
The Lurgan Blues' new signing, Andy Waterworth, found the net on 15 occasions for Linfield last season, as did Danny Purkis. The Ports' dangerman, Lee Bonis, scored 14 goals for the club.
Glenavon have won nine of the last 14 games between the clubs, with three draws and two wins for the Ports which came in the first two derbies of last season.
The visitors have won four of their last five games at Shamrock Park and lost once in their last eight trips to Portadown, although a 2-2 draw in 2016 was awarded as a 3-0 win for the Ports due to the ineligibility of David Elebert.
Glenavon's 4-1 win over the Ports at the end of last season was the fourth time that the Lurgan Blues have scored four against their derby rivals under Gary Hamilton's management. The other occasions came in 2013 (4-2), 2014 (4-2) and 2016 (4-1).