The Mid-Ulster derby might not exactly be a top of the table clash these days but both managers are promising it will be a full-throttle affair.
New Portadown boss Niall Currie leads his Portadown charges into his first festive fixture in charge of his hometown club against Gary Hamilton’s Glenavon
One look at the two squads and, as the Ports boss admits, an away win at Shamrock Park would appear likely, but with Glenavon having lost three of their last four and their hosts fresh off the back of a morale-boosting win over Dungannon Swifts, Currie knows anything is possible.
“There’s a great feeling amongst the players and we will give it everything on Boxing Day,” he said.
“We’re missing some big players but we will apply ourselves in the right way again and that’s all the supporters will demand of us.”
The Ports’ list of unavailable players is a lengthy one. In midfield, Sean Mackle, Tim Mouncey and Brendan Shannon will all miss out while, perhaps even more crucially, defensive pairing Keith O’Hara and Ken Oman will also be unavailable.
Glenavon are beginning life without Paddy McCourt, who left the club on Thursday, but the boss is just as determined as his opposite number to deliver a belated Christmas present to his supporters.
“It will all come down to who wants it the most,” said Hamilton.
“For me Portadown are in a false position because of the points they lost, they have actually had some decent results this season.
“We will be doing all we can to send our fans home happy on the day.”