Sunday 4 December 2016

League of Ireland previews

Published 21/10/2011 | 05:00

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Bohemians v Sligo Rovers

(Dalymount Park, 7.45)

League form: Bohemians WLDDW, Sligo WWWWL

Match odds: Bohemians 15/4, Sligo 8/11, Draw 12/5

Referee: D McKeon (Dublin)

Team news: Anto Flood, Christy Fagan and Liam Burns are back after missing the FAI Cup semi-final through suspension, while Aidan Price could be fit.

Sligo's Alan Keane misses out with a one-match ban, but otherwise Paul Cook's side is at full strength.

Talking point: Bohs can still finish fourth, which would give them a route into Europe if tonight's opponents win the Cup.

Sligo were the better team last Sunday in the Cup, claiming a 1-0 away win against the Gypsies, but with the hosts back to something approaching full strength they could frustrate Paul Cook's charges' last league stand.

Verdict: Draw

Dundalk v Drogheda Utd

(Oriel Park, 7,45)

League form: Dundalk LLLLL, Drogheda DLLWL

Match odds: Dundalk 8/11, Drogheda 10/3, Draw 13/5

Referee: D Tomney (Dublin)

Team news: Dundalk's Ross Gaynor is suspended, while Marc Griffin needs surgery on his groin injury. Dean Bennett, Greg Bolger and Carl McHugh return. Drogs' Jack Flynn and Colin O'Brien remain out, but Alan McNally is back in contention while Robert Duggan has recovered from his shoulder injury. Lee Lynch is a doubt with flu.

Talking point: A Louth derby with nothing other than pride at stake. Ian Foster's Dundalk are on a dreadful run of form and are just playing out the season. Drogheda were hammered at home by Bray last week, meaning both sides are at a low ebb coming into this one. A draw would be a fittingly unsatisfactory result.

Verdict: Draw

Galway UTD v Bray Wndrs

(Terryland Park, 7.45)

League form: Galway LLLLL, Bray Wanderers WLDLW

Match odds: Galway 11/1, Bray Wanderers 2/7, Draw 7/2

Referee: R Winter (Wicklow)

Team news: Galway are down to the bare bones with only 12 fit senior players available.

John Brennan will draft some of his U-19s onto the bench. Bray's Sean Houston is out, and goalkeeper Darren Quigley (elbow) and Shane O'Connor (hip) are also doubts for the visitors.

Talking point: An expected win for Bray would ensure a sixth-placed finish for the Seagulls and a decent return for Pat Devlin's men.

Their mid-season slump quashed any talk of Europe but fans of the Wicklow club will be grateful for a stress-free season's end after the last few years.

Verdict: Away win

St Patrick's Ath v Derry City

(Richmond Park, 7.45)

League form: St Pat's DWDLW, Derry DDWLW

Match odds: St Pat's 15/8, Derry 11/8, Draw 11/5

Referee: D Hancock (Dublin)

Team news: Derry will be without Eddie McCallion and Gareth McGlynn, who have calf injuries. Owen Morrison is out, while Stewart Greacen is struggling with a shoulder injury. Patrick McEleney and Shane McEleney face fitness tests. Gary Rogers is suspended for Pat's, who are without Sean O'Connor (hamstring).

Talking point: Pete Mahon threatened to make 11 changes to his team tonight after Monday's replay defeat to Shelbourne left them shattered physically and mentally. If they want to guarantee a repeat of their European run next season, they need a win, although Sligo winning the Cup would offer a back-door route.

Verdict: Away win

Irish Independent

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