league of ireland previews
Dundalk v Galway United
(Oriel Park, 7.45)
League form: Dundalk WLWWL Galway WLWDL
Betting: Dundalk 8/13 Galway 9/2 Draw 9/4
Referee: A Kelly (Cork).
Team news: Liam Burns, Garry Breen, Tom Miller and JJ Melligan are doubts for the Lilywhites. They are definitely without influential Stephen Maher who serves a ban. Ciaran Foley should return for Galway, while Stephen O'Donnell is suspended and Derek O'Brien (stomach) is still out.
Talking point: Dundalk have a perfect chance to reclaim the league's top spot tonight after an encouraging win over Sporting Fingal in the EA Sports Cup, not to mention an opportunity to get one over on former boss Sean Connor on his return to Oriel Park. Home boss Ian Foster has had an interesting week, strongly criticising the FAI on a number of angles, which managed to rile the authorities in Abbotstown. A statement from the Louth club yesterday contained an apology from Foster for the severity of his comments.
Verdict: Home win.
UCD v Shamrock Rovers
(UCD Bowl, 7.45)
League form: UCD DWDWW Shamrock Rovers WDWLW
Betting: UCD 2/1 Shamrock Rovers 6/5 Draw 21/10
Referee: D Hanney (Dublin).
Team news: Ciaran Kilduff returns for UCD and Billy Brennan (groin) is expected to be fit. Pat Sullivan (knee), Aidan Price (ankle) and Robert Bayly (suspended) miss out for the Hoops, while Chris Turner (ankle) faces a late fitness test.
Talking point: The Students have an extremely good record against the bigger teams this season and held Rovers to a draw in Tallaght. A win here would put them level on points with Michael O'Neill's men.
The Hoops have a busy period of games coming up. However, they were boosted during the week when goalkeeper Alan Mannus opted to stay with his club over the next fortnight rather than travelling to the USA with the Northern Ireland senior team, with Nigel Worthington forced to accept his decision.
Verdict: Away win.