Thursday 26 April 2018

Bray Wanderers v Dundalk

(Carlisle Grounds, 7.45)

League form: Bray WDWWW, Dundalk WWLLL

Match odds: Bray 5/4, Dundalk 2/1, Draw 9/4

Referee: R Rogers (Dublin)

Team news: Dave Mitchell returns from injury for Bray Wanderers, who have no injury concerns for the game. Dundalk, meanwhile, welcome back Shane Guthrie, while Colin Hawkins and Dean Bennett (both ankle) face late fitness tests. Eoghan Osborne, Stephen Maher, Stephen McDonnell, Michael Hector and Jason Byrne all remain out.

Talking point: Four points off Shamrock Rovers in third, unbeaten in five games, Bray's season has already exceeded all expectations. The form guide and the Seagulls' record against Dundalk indicate they can keep the chase up as the league passes the halfway point.

Verdict: Home win

Derry City v Bohemians

(The Brandywell, 7.45)

League form: Derry DLWDD, Bohemians WLWLD

Match odds: Derry 10/11, Bohemians 3/1, Draw 9/4

Referee: D McKeon (Dublin)

Team news: Killian Brennan and Danny Joyce are suspended for Bohs, while goalkeeper Chris O'Connor is out for several weeks with a serious facial injury sustained last week and will be replaced by Barry Murphy. Ollie Cahill and Ger O'Brien are still sidelined with hamstring injuries. Patrick McEleney has been sick all week and is a doubt for Derry.

Talking point: Eamon Zayed has been at the centre of a storm all week, but Stephen Kenny remains confident the league's top- scorer can put the attention to one side and deliver this evening. Without Brennan, it's hard to see where Bohs' goal threat will come from.

Verdict: Home win

Drogheda UtD v St Pat's Ath

(Hunky Dorys Park, 7.45)

League form: Drogheda United LLWLW, St Pat's Ath WWWDW

Match odds: Drogheda 6/1, St Pat's Ath 4/9, Draw 3/1

Referee: P Tuite (Dublin)

Team news: The Saints return to Louth for the second time this week with doubts over Brian Shortall (virus) and Evan McMillan (calf), while Derek Pender and Conor Kenna (both knee) are still out. Drogheda will be without Jack Flynn, but otherwise Mick Cooke has a full squad.

Talking point: Two wins in their last three games mean things are looking far more positive around Drogheda. Cooke's side's resurgence will be severely tested by a St Pat's side on an 11-match unbeaten run, but he has a number of players from the Irish League ready to join when the window opens, something Galway -- Drogs' relegation battle rivals -- can only dream of.

Verdict: Away win

Shamrock Rvs v Galway UTD

(Tallaght Stadium, 8.0)

League form: Shamrock Rovers WLWWD, Galway United LLLLL

Match odds: Shamrock Rovers 1/14, Galway 25/1, Draw 8/1

Referee: P Sutton (Clare)

Team news: The Hoops have a full squad available for tonight's encounter. Meanwhile, Galway United will be without Stephen Walsh (suspended) and injured pair Sean Kelly and Jonathan Keane, while Alan Murphy remains a doubt for the clash with a groin strain.

Talking point: Shamrock Rovers have endured a difficult week with accusations of racism surrounding one of their players, the first piece of negative publicity since their move to the Tallaght Stadium. The visit of Galway United should be the perfect on-field tonic -- the westerners are without a victory in 13 matches and shouldn't trouble the champions.

Verdict: Home win

Irish Independent

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