Monday 25 September 2017

League of Ireland previews

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Shamrock Rvrs v Cork CIty

(Tallaght, 7.0)

League form: Shamrock Rovers DLLLW, Cork LLWWW

Odds: Shamrock Rovers 8/11, Cork 15/4, Draw 12/5

Referee: R Rogers (Dublin)

Team news: Rovers are without the suspended Mark Quigley and Jason McGuinness, while Danny Ledwith (hamstring) is also out. Trevor Croly is sweating over the fitness of Ronan Finn (groin), Conor McCormack (knee), Stephen Rice (ankle) and Karl Sheppard (abdomen).

Cork are without Ciaran Kilduff, who is on loan from the Hoops. Kevin Murray and Darren Dennehy are out.

Talking point: With Derry faltering there could be an opening for Rovers to pursue European football through the league after all. Croly will want his side to put the pressure on the Candystripes.

Verdict: Home win

Bohemians v Sligo Rovers

(Dalymount Park, 7.45)

League form: Bohs DLLWD, Sligo WWLWD,

Odds: Bohs 5/1, Sligo 1/2, Draw 13/5

Referee: G Kelly (Cork)

Team news: Dave Mulcahy returns for Bohs, but David Scully (ankle injury) remains out. Owen Heary has signed former Ireland underage international Neil Yadolahi (20) to help his defence.

Sligo's Evan McMillan (knee), Ross Gaynor (knee) and Iarfhlaith Davoren are out. Ross Gaynor and Iarfhlaith Davoren are nearing a return to fitness.

Talking point: A win at Dalymount is a must for Ian Baraclough's side, who are seven points off leaders St Pat's with seven games to go. Having taken four points from their two Dublin derbies, Bohs will be hoping to continue their fine form.

Verdict: Away win

Limerick v St Pat's

(Thomond Park, 7.45)

League form: Limerick LWLLL, St Pat's DWWDW

Odds: Limerick 11/2, St Pat's 8/15, Draw 13/5

Referee: P Tuite (Dublin)

Team news: Stephen McGann (foot) and Shane Tracy (knee) are still out for Limerick, but Stuart Taylor should have Brian O'Callaghan and Pat Purcell back. Shane Costelloe (ankle) is a doubt, while Shaun Kelly is suspended.

St Pat's Stephen Maher is out after breaking his leg in Derry, but John Russell should return.

Talking point: After winning in Derry, Liam Buckley is looking for another big effort from his league leaders who can put five points between themselves and Dundalk ahead of their Louth derby and put pressure on the chasing pack.

Verdict: Away win

TOMORROW

Bray Wanderers v UCD

(Carlisle Grounds, 3.0)

League form: Bray LDLLL, UCD LWLWL

Odds: Bray 7/5, UCD 7/4, Draw 23/10

Referee: A Buttimer (Cork)

Team news: Bray's Dave Webster is suspended, but Pat Devlin welcomes Daire Doyle back into his squad – although Eoin Hyland is a doubt.

Aymen Ben Mohamed misses out for UCD, who are otherwise at full strength.

Talking point: A huge game in the relegation battle, Bray are desperately seeking their first win in 11 and, with Shelbourne not playing, they have a chance to get off the bottom. Martin Russell's side would give themselves breathing space with a win.

Verdict: Draw

Dundalk v Drogheda United

(Oriel Park, 6.0)

League form: Dundalk WWWWW, Drogheda DWWWD

Odds: Dundalk 5/6, Drogheda 10/3, Draw 9/4

Referee: A Kelly (Cork)

Team news: Kurtis Byrne is suspended for Dundalk, who are without Keith Ward. John Mountney should be available.

Mick Daly and Paul O'Conor are doubts for Drogheda, while Graham Rusk is out of action.

Talking point: Eight games without defeat, Dundalk are the league's form team, but their time at the top lasted just three days before St Pat's returned to the summit.

They could find themselves five points down before kick-off and the derby will be tricky, but Stephen Kenny's men have passed all of their tests so far.

Verdict: Home win

Irish Independent

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