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League of Ireland previews

Bohemians v Bray Wndrs

(Dalymount Park, 7.45)

League form: Bohemians LWDLW, Bray Wanderers WDWLL

odds: Bohemians 8/11, Bray Wanderers 15/4, Draw 12/5

Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford)

Team news: Bohs are missing Dave Mulcahy (knee) and Anto Murphy (hamstring), but Andy Mulligan (quad) is available again. Bray will have to plan without Danny O'Connor (groin), Adam Hanlon (knee) and Shane Redmond (suspension) – however, Shane O'Neill has fully recovered from a groin injury.

Talking point: Having set up a defensive shape last week, it will be interesting to see if Bohemians display more ambition going forward this time round. Bray, by contrast, need to show considerably more caution after their costly defeat to UCD last Friday.

Verdict: Home win

Cork City v Shamrock Rvs

(Turner's Cross, 7.45)

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League form: Cork City LDWWW, Shamrock Rovers LDWWW

Odds: Cork City 12/5, Shamrock Rovers 11/10, Draw 11/5

Referee: Robert Rogers (Dublin)

Team news: Danny Morrissey, Michael Rafter and Anthony Elding all have ankle injuries, thus robbing Cork of their preferred strikeforce. Rovers have a full squad to choose from, with the exception of David O'Connor, who remains out of action with a foot injury.

Talking point: While both sides have earned gold stars for their early season form, tonight's game will examine how far down the maturation road they have travelled. "We are a new group, so playing Cork at a packed Turner's Cross will be a test for us," said Trevor Croly, the Rovers manager. It will also be a test of nerve for Cork. Expect a cracker and a draw.

Verdict: Draw

Derry City v Sligo Rvs

(The Brandywell, 7.45)

League form: Derry City WDLDD, Sligo Rovers WWLLL

Match odds: Derry City 21/10, Sligo Rovers 5/4, Draw 11/5

Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin)

Team news: Derry City are missing Patrick McEleney (calf) and Barry McNamee (calf), but they can finally use Jon-Paul McGovern now that his registration problems have been sorted. Sligo are missing Seamus Conneely (groin), Gavin Peers (knee) and Raf Cretaro (calf) and will give Danny North (toe) a late fitness test. Danny Ledwith is back in the squad after a hamstring problem.

Talking point: This is Derry's worst start to the season in 11 years and while Roddy Collins is sticking to his mantra that he needs 10 games to allow the dust to settle, his admission that "a win will go a long way to showing our supporters we are going in the right direction."

Verdict: Draw

Drogheda Utd v Athlone T

(United Park, 7.45)

League form: Drogheda United WWDDW, Athlone Town LLLLL Match odds: Drogheda United 8/15, Athlone Town 11/2, Draw 5/2

Referee: Jim McKell (Tipperary)

Team news: Athlone's Neil Harney, Aidan Collins, Barry Clancy and Sean Byrne all struggling to make the match-day squad. If registered in time, new signing Stephen Quigley will make his debut. Drogheda will be missing Micheal Schlingermann and Paul Crowley and have doubts surrounding Michael Daly and Stephen Maher. Phillip Hughes returns from suspension.

Talking point: The return of Mick Cooke to his old club after his bitter fallout adds spice to this game, but the more pressing issue for the Athlone manager is the fact his side have yet to collect a point. Drogheda remain unbeaten.

Verdict: Home win

St Pat's Ath v Dundalk

(Richmond Park, 7.05)

League form: St Patrick's Athletic LDWDD, Dundalk WLWWD

Odds: St Patrick's Athletic 19/20, Dundalk 11/4, Draw 23/10

Referee: P Sutton (Dublin)

Team news: St Patrick's have injury doubts surrounding Rene Gilmartin (hamstring) and Ken Oman (groin). Mark Rossiter (hamstring) and Shaun Kelly (suspension) are back in the running for Dundalk inclusion.

Talking point: The Saints have won just one of their four league games this season and have yet to replicate their title-winning form of last season. A lack of goals has been their main problem to date and they will look to address this tonight. The border club were victims of the fixture planners last week but, following a week's recovery, they could produce a surprise here.

Verdict: Away win

UCD v Limerick

(The UCD Bowl, 7.45)

League form: UCD WLLWW, Limerick LDLDL

Match odds: UCD 6/4, Limerick 17/10, Draw 11/5

Referee: D McKeon (Dublin)

Team news: The Students' worries are minimal, but Limerick are missing Danny Galbraith and Michael Leahy. On a brighter note, Craig Curran and Robbie Williams are available again after injuries, while late fitness tests await Tony Whitehead, Colm Murphy and Shane Costelloe.

Talking point: Limerick's start has not been quite up to scratch and, while they generally fly under the radar, a defeat here would undoubtedly set the alarm bells ringing. Nonethelesss, the odds still favour UCD, whose fitness is exceptional and who have recorded impressive back-to-back successes.

Verdict: Draw


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