Institute manager Paul Kee is hoping the 3G surface at Cliftonville will help his side at Solitude on Saturday.
The Waterside men, who continue their search for a first league victory in 20 outings, know they are going to have to be at their best despite the in-different form from Tommy Breslin’s side this season.
The champions haven’t played anywhere near last year’s form, however Kee knows it’s going to be a difficult game for his side.
“We are generally good on 3G pitches, so hopefully that will be the case on Saturday, at Cliftonville,” said Kee.
“They have probably been stifled by the form of Crusaders and, yes, they have had a couple of up and down results, maybe sometimes surprising results and it’s not like them, but they are still a very experienced team.
“I know they have been experimenting in their last couple of games by bringing in some of their younger players, but they are still a very difficult opponent and obviously with our current situation. It’s going to be a difficult game.
“It’s a game we have to go and try to win, give it our best going into the break and try to get within touching distance of Warrenpoint Town.”
At the weekend Kee watched both clubs’ respective reserves teams, however the Reds had experienced players such as Eamonn Seydak, Ryan Catney and David McDaid and the Stute gaffer believes the ex-Derry City striker in particular will probably start against his team this weekend.
Although the Reds haven’t been at their best at times this campaign they were back to their old self the last time the sides met just before Christmas.
Cliftonville’s striking duo Joe Gormley and David McDaid linked up well that day, with Gormley helping himself to a hat-trick.
“I would say McDaid will probably play against us, particularly the way they played against us the last time, him and Gormley were excellent,” Kee added.
“They were the difference in the 4-0 game, believe it or not we were in contention at that time and I thought we did well against them, but their two performances got them over the line that day.
“Gormley, in fairness, is a player that we have to watch and if you don’t you could end up with egg on your face; they could be having an indifferent day and he pumps up to score a goal and changes the whole complexion of the match and that’s what they have.
“That’s what the top teams have had and that’s what we maybe have missed this year.
“We do need to get that goal at a key stage and hold on to it and when chances do come, we need to take them.”
Kee also confirmed that Darren McFadden is likely to be the only change to his squad, after the striker returned from a recent bout of ’flu.