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No split definitives

Cliftonville completed their pre-split shedule in the Danske Bank Premiership with this evening’s 3-0 victory over Ards at Solitude but must wait a little longer for clarity regarding their final five fixtures.

Though three teams – the Reds, Glenavon and Linfield – are guaranteed to remain in their current positions when the regular season’s formalities are completed on Monday night, there remains the possibility of a swap in the standings between Coleraine and Crusaders, while seventh-placed Ballymena United can leapfrog Glentoran into the top six if they get the better of Ballinamallard United in their game in hand.

As things stand, Cliftonville are only assured of one home game for the remainder of the campaign (against Glenavon on April 14) and look set to complete their Premiership obligations in an away tie with Linfield on April 28.

Should Ballymena, who sit a point behind the Glens in the table, beat Ballinamallard on Monday, they would have home advantage against the Reds on Easter Tuesday but, if the Mallards emerge from The Showgrounds with so much as a point, Glentoran would instead visit Solitude on that date.

The other outstanding issue surrounds the order in which Cliftonville will travel to face Crusaders and Coleraine. Should the duo remain in their current positions come the close of play on Monday – when the Crues tackle Warrenpoint Town – Barry Gray’s side would take on Crusaders on April 7 and the Bannsiders on April 21. If, however, the Crues avoid defeat against the ‘Point, those fixtures would be reversed.

Confused? Fear not because will be on hand to clear things up once this long weekend of action is complete, with the details below allowing supporters an early gauge of how the run-in will shape up although, as ever, fans are advised that the fixtures template remains subject to ratification and indeed amendment at the discretion of the NI Football League.

Which teams have qualified for the Premiership’s top six?
1. Cliftonville
2. Coleraine
3. Crusaders
4. Glenavon
5. Linfield

Which teams can still qualify for the Premiership’s top six?
Ballymena United

Where will Cliftonville’s fixtures be played against all opponents?
Ballymena United (The Showgrounds)
Coleraine (The Showgrounds)
Crusaders (Seaview)
Glenavon (Solitude)
Glentoran (Solitude)
Linfield (Windsor Park)

When will post-split fixtures take place?
Tuesday, April 3 (7.45pm)
Crusaders v Coleraine
Glenavon v Linfield
Cliftonville v Glentoran/ Ballymena United v Cliftonville

Saturday, April 7 (3pm)
Coleraine/ Crusaders v Glenavon
Coleraine/ Crusaders v Cliftonville
Linfield v Glentoran/ Ballymena United

Saturday, April 14 (3pm)
Coleraine/ Crusaders v Linfield
Coleraine/ Crusaders v Glentoran/ Ballymena United
Cliftonville v Glenavon

Saturday, April 21 (3pm)
Coleraine/ Crusaders v Cliftonville
Coleraine/ Crusaders v Linfield
Glenavon v Glentoran/ Ballymena Unitd

Saturday, April 28 (3pm)
Coleraine/ Crusaders v Glentoran/ Ballymena United
Coleraine/ Crusaders v Glenavon
Linfield v Cliftonville