Friday 24 November 2017

League of Ireland previews

Bray Wdrs v Sligo Rovers

(Carlisle Grounds, 7.45)

League form: Bray LLLLD, Sligo DWDDD

Betting: Bray 10/3, Sligo Rovers 5/6, Draw 9/4

Referee: D McKeon (Meath).

Team news: Chris Shields is suspended for the hosts, while David Tyrrell (ankle) is out. The Bit O'Red are awaiting international clearance for Joseph Ndo to take part, while Iarfhlaith Davoren (hamstring) is doubtful, but Paul Whelan could return.

Talking point: The struggling Seagulls got their first point of the season on Monday night but Paul Cook's visitors will be doing all in their power to avoid another stalemate after being held to five draws in the first six games.

Verdict: Away win.

Dundalk v UCD

(Oriel Park, 7.45)

League form: Dundalk WDWDD, UCD LLWDD

Betting: Dundalk 10/11, UCD 3/1, Draw 9/4

Referee: D Hancock (Dublin).

Team news: Neale Fenn is expected to return from a knee injury for Dundalk but Alan Cawley (cheekbone) and Tiarnan Mulvenna (knee) remain sidelined. Chris Mulhall (dead leg) and Billy Brennan are expected to return from knocks, while Ger Barron may make a first appearance on the bench for the Students.

Talking point: This pitch will suit Martin Russell's outfit and their tidy passing game, but the undefeated Lilywhites have built up a good degree of momentum.

Verdict: Draw.

Galway v Sporting Fingal

(Terryland Park, 7.45)

League form: Galway LWLLD, Sporting Fingal DWWDD

Betting: Galway 21/10, Sporting Fingal 11/10, Draw 11/5

Referee: D Tomney (Dublin).

Team news: Thomas Heary (knee) is unlikely to take part for the hosts, while Jason Molloy, Jamie McKenzie, Gary Curran, Bobby Ryan and Derek O'Brien are doubtful. Shane McFaul and Shaun Williams are suspended for the visitors while John Frost (hamstring) is out. Lorcan Fitzgerald returns.

Talking point: Fingal have proved they can be considered potential title contenders but will their slick passing style be hindered by the unpredictable Terryland surface?

Verdict: Away win.

Shamrock Rvs v Bohemians

(Tallaght Stadium, LIVE RTE2, 7.35)

League form: Shamrock Rovers LLWDD, Bohemians WWWDD

Betting: Shamrock Rovers 11/5, Bohemians 5/4, Draw 21/10

Referee: R Winter (Dublin).

Team news: Gary Twigg, Dessie Baker, Pat Sullivan and Stephen Bradley remain out while Paddy Kavanagh (hamstring), Pat Flynn (hip), Craig Sives (calf) and Sean O'Connor (knee) are doubtful for the Hoops. Pat Fenlon expects to have a full squad, with Steven Gray and Anto Murphy set to return.

Talking point: The Tallaght buzz has muted somewhat after two home defeats, but their fans won't need any encouragement for this derby.

Verdict: Away win.

St Pat's Ath v Drogheda Utd

(Richmond Park, 7.45)

League form: St Pat's WWDDD, Drogheda DLLDD

Betting: St Pat's 8/15, Drogheda 5/1, Draw 12/5

Referee: A Kelly (Cork).

Team news: Paul Crowley, Brendan McGill and Corie Treacy are all doubtful for the Drogs, and Joe Kendrick is suspended. Pat's are at full strength.

Talking point: When Conor Kenna made a late switch from Boyneside to the Saints in pre-season, he could never have imagined the contrast in how their two seasons would transpire. He now lines out in the league's best defence and Pat's don't look like being stopped, certainly not by winless Drogs.

Verdict: Home win.

Irish Independent

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