Wednesday 20 September 2017

sse airtricity league previews

Dundalk v Bray Wanderers

Oriel Park (3.0)

League form: Dundalk DWDWW, Bray Wanderers WWDLL

Match odds: Dundalk 2/13, Bray Wanderers 22/1, Draw 13/2

Referee: D Tomney (Dublin)

Team news: Dundalk are at full strength. "I have a selection headache which every manager wants," said manager Stephen Kenny.

Talking point: After last week's victory over Cork, doubts about Dundalk's capacity to retain their hunger - and by extension, their title - have gone. If anything they appear an even better team this year than last, their fitness levels allowing them to play at a tempo no Irish team can cope with. Bray, in contrast, are coming off the back of a 5-0 hammering by Galway. Their season pre-destined for a relegation scrap, Dundalk's for a successful title defence. "If we slip up against Bray then the result against Cork counts for nothing," said captain Stephen O'Donnell.

Verdict: Home win

Bohemians v Cork City

Dalymount Park (5.10)

League form: Bohemians WWLDW, Cork City WDWWL

Match odds: Bohemians 23/10, Cork City 7/5, Draw 21/10

Referee: P Sutton (Clare)

Team news: Keith Long has a full squad to choose from for the first time this season, with Robbie Creevy fully fit and Dan Byrne back in training after his long lay-off. John Dunleavy is Cork's only absentee.

Talking point: If Cork were hoping for an easy pick-me-up after last week's 2-1 defeat to Dundalk, then they have been handicapped by the fixture planners. Bohemians have improved immeasurably since last season, when they struggled for goals and home wins. They look a more complete side now and if they win here then they will have to be regarded as dark horses for the title. And yet, Cork appear more advanced in their development. "We need to react well to the defeat," said City manager John Caulfield.

Verdict: Away win

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