Monday 18 December 2017

Dundalk v St Pat's Ath

(Oriel Park, 7.45)

League form: Dundalk DDLDL, St Pat's Ath WDWWD

Match odds: Dundalk 9/4, St Pat's 11/10, Draw 12/5

Referee: P Sutton (Clare)

Team news: Pete Mahon is without David McMillan and six other players, but in an effort to pull the wool over Ian Foster's eyes he is not prepared to release their names. Eoghan Osborne (fractured tibia), Stephen Maher (fractured metatarsal) and Colin Hawkins (knee) remain on the sidelines for Dundalk, with Ross Gaynor (ankle) doubtful.

Talking point: An extra-time defeat to Bohemians on Tuesday effectively ended Dundalk's season, while off-field money problems and Foster's impending exit mean heads may be turned. It's the perfect scenario for the visiting Saints.

Verdict: Away win.

Galway Utd v Bohemians

(Terryland Park, 7.45)

League form: Galway LLLDL, Bohemians LDWWW

Match odds: Galway 12/1, Bohemians 1/6, Draw 11/2

Referee: R Rogers (Dublin)

Team news: Galway's new manager John Brennan is without long-term injury victims Johnny Keane (knee) and Victor Collins (achilles), while Eric Holland (hamstring) is also out. Jin Gu Kim is a doubt for Brennan who added club legend Billy Clery and captain Alan Murphy to his coaching team yesterday. Bohs are at full strength after Ollie Cahill returned to full training.

Talking point: Galway may have had a regime change but Bohs are in stunning form and although they never hit the heights against Dundalk, they should have more than enough for the basement boys.

Verdict: Away win.

Drogheda Utd v Sligo Rovers

(Hunky Dorys Park, 7.45)

League form: Drogheda DLLLD, Sligo LWDWW

Match odds: Drogheda 10/1, Sligo 3/10, Draw 7/2

Referee: G Kelly (Cork)

Team news: Jack Flynn and Colin O'Brien are out for the rest of the season. Lee Lynch has recovered and should be fit. Alan McNally, Tiarnan Mulvenna and Gavin Brennan are suspended. Jason McGuinness and Eoin Doyle miss out for Sligo, but Danny Ventre is back from suspension.

Talking point: With Derry in EA Sports Cup action and Shamrock Rovers not playing until Sunday, this is Sligo's chance to pile on the pressure. Paul Cook has always insisted that Drogheda is one of the league's toughest away venues, but three points would be a massive step towards the title.

Verdict: Away win.

Irish Independent

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