Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey says he expects a “momentous battle” in Tuesday’s County Antrim Shield semi-final against Ards at the Showgrounds.
A last-gasp Tony Kane strike in extra-time secured a 3-2 win for the Sky Blues in the League Cup quarter-final between the sides a fortnight ago.
“The games between us have been very tight this season and we know the challenge ahead of us,” said Jeffrey.
Crusaders host Carrick Rangers in the other semi-final tie at Seaview.
“Ards are coming off the back of a phenomenal result at the Oval – if we are going to progress we going to have to be at our very best,” added Jeffrey.
Ards boss Colin Nixon says his side, who saw off Linfield 1-0 at the last eight stage at Windsor Park, have endured a “punishing schedule” in recent weeks but welcomes the chance to get to a final.
Crusaders lost 3-1 to Linfield in last season’s Shield decider but are currently on an unbeaten run of 10 games in all competitions.
A late double from Paul Heatley helped Stephen Baxter’s team come from 2-1 behind to beat north Belfast rivals Cliftonville in the quarter-finals.
Carrick will welcome the break from Premiership action as they have lost their last six league matches.
Meanwhile, Glenavon defeated Portadown 2-1 in Monday night’s Mid-Ulster Cup semi-final at Shamrock Park.
Goals from Adam Foley and Jordan Jenkins gave Glenavon a 2-0 lead by half-time with Peter Duffin pulling a late goal back for the Ports in the second half.