Friday 23 March 2018

League of Ireland previews

Bohemians v Galway United

(Dalymount Park, 7.45)

League form: Bohemians WWD, Galway United LLD

Match odds: Bohemians 1/2, Draw 11/4, Galway Utd 11/2

Referee: A Kelly (Cork)

Team news: Ger O'Brien is suspended for Bohs but Robert Bayly returns. Anto Flood and Christy Fagan should recover from injuries picked up against Hibs on Monday. Galway's Stephen Feeney is sidelined with a leg injury, while Sean Kelly is banned.

Talking point: Galway scuppered Bohemians' title ambitions last season by restricting them to one point from four games and revenge will be on Bohs' minds.

Verdict: Draw

Derry City v Shamrock Rvs

(Brandywell Stadium, 7.45)

League form: Derry City LWD, Shamrock Rovers WWW

Match odds: Derry City 9/4, Draw 9/4, Shamrock Rovers 20/23

Referee: R Winter (Wicklow)

Team news: Stewart Grecian (hand) and Ruaidhri Higgins (thigh strain) are both out for the Candystripes but Eddie McCallion and James McClean return. Dean Kelly (calf) is a doubt for the Hoops, while Craig Sives is out with a hamstring injury.

Talking point: The Brandywell has long been the true test of title contenders' mettle and Rovers have the chance to lay down a real marker on Foyleside.

Verdict: Draw

St Pat's Athletic v Dundalk

(Richmond Park, 7.45)

League form: St Pat's WLL, Dundalk LWD

Match odds: St Pat's 5/4, Draw 9/4, Dundalk 2/1

Referee: D Tomney (Dublin)

Team news: Dean Bennett is banned for Dundalk, who are without Eoghan Osbourne (hamstring) and Shane Guthrie on loan from the Saints. Pat's are without skipper Conor Kenna (knee), Ian Daly (hip), Daryl Kavanagh (hamstring). Danny North and Brian Shortall are doubts.

Talking point: Pete Mahon's options up front look a little lightweight, but Dundalk have been fighting on two fronts and may not have the legs to take advantage.

Verdict: Away win

Sligo Rovers v Drogheda Utd

(The Showgrounds, 7.45)

League form: Sligo WLD, Drogheda LLD

Match odds: Sligo 1/3, Draw 10/3, Drogheda 9/1

Referee: P Tuite (Dublin)

Team news: A foot injury rules Joseph Ndo out for the hosts, while Daryl Horgan is on duty with the Ireland U-19s. Alan McNally is Mick Cooke's only injury for the trip west as David Quirke returns.

Talking point: Sligo started the season looking to build on last season's cup success but after a stuttering start they can't afford to lose too much ground on champions Shamrock Rovers. A win tonight is a must to boost their title-chasing credentials.

Verdict: Home win

UCD v Bray WanDererS

(UCD Bowl, 7.45)

League form: UCD WLD, Bray LWD

Match odds: UCD 11/10, Draw 11/5, Bray 5/2

Referee: A Buttimer (Cork)

Team news: Bray are without Conor Murphy, who is with the Ireland U-19s, while Colm Tresson (calf) and Gary Shaw (ankle) are both out. Shane O'Neill is doubtful after picking up a bug. UCD's Cillian Morrison is definitely out, while Robbie Benson is a slight doubt.

Talking point: Pat Devlin had to rescue Bray after a slow start last season and if they are to avoid similar struggles this time around, this is the kind of tie they need to win.

Verdict: Away win

Irish Independent

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