Sunday 21 January 2018

League of Ireland previews

Derry City v Dundalk

(Brandywell, 7.35, RTE2)

League form: Derry City LWDDW, Dundalk LWDLW

Match odds: Derry City 23/20, Dundalk 23/10, Draw 11/5

Referee: D Hancock (Dublin)

Team news: Stephen Maher (groin) joins Greg Bolger (thigh) and Eoghan Osbourne (fractured tibia) on Dundalk's long term injury list. Dean Bennett is racing to be fit for Ian Foster's men, while Derry are without Barry Molloy (ankle) and Michael McCrudden (abdomen).

Talking point: Derry have secured a new three-year shirt sponsorship deal and on the pitch the future looks bright for Stephen Kenny's young team. Currently third, a win tonight would mark them down as serious challengers this season.

Verdict: Home win.

Drogheda Utd v Galway Utd

(Hunky Dory Park, 7.45)

League form: Drogheda United LLDLL, Galway United LLDWL

Match odds: Drogheda United 13/8, Galway United 6/4, Draw 11/5

Referee: P Tuite (Dublin)

Team news: Drogheda United's Alan McNally is their only doubt for this crucial clash as Drogs are without a victory this season. Galway, meanwhile, travel without Gary Curran (metatarsal) and have doubts over Alan Murphy, Enda Curran (both groin) and Steven Feeney (ankle).

Talking point: This represents struggling Drogheda's best chance to gain that first elusive victory of the season, but while Galway are struggling with injuries, they seem more resilient than their hosts.

Verdict: Away win.

UCD v Bohemians

(Belfield Bowl, 7.45)

League form: UCD WLDLL, Bohemians WWDLD

Match odds: UCD 12/5, Bohemians 11/10, Draw 9/4

Referee: A Kelly (Cork)

Team news: Teenage goalkeeper Craig Sexton is back in goal for Bohs, with Barry Murphy out for five weeks with a groin injury and Chris O'Connor (shoulder) remains sidelined. Lee Dixon (calf) and Ollie Cahill (hamstring) are also out. Sean Harding (hamstring) and Cillian Morrison (ankle) miss out for UCD.

Talking point: The Gypsies may have a goalkeeping crisis, but at the other end they have failed to score in their last three matches. They'll want to regain their early form against the struggling students.

Verdict: Away win.

Shamrock Rovers v Bray w

(Tallaght, 8.0)

League form: Shamrock Rovers WWDWW, Bray Wanderers LWDWL

Match odds: Shamrock Rovers 1/3, Bray Wanderers 9/1, Draw 10/3

Referee: D Tomney (Dublin)

Team news: Chris Turner (calf) and Stephen O'Donnell (hamstring) will undergo fitness tests today before Michael O'Neill can consider them. Craig Sives is definitely out with a hamstring injury. The visitors are without Joe Kendrick (thigh) and Daire Doyle (hamstring) for their trip to Tallaght.

Talking point: Can anyone stop the Hoops? Certainly O'Neill's charges kicked into gear last weekend and with their squad and strength in depth, they will take some beating. Bray haven't defeated Rovers in six attempts and look unlikely to do so tonight.

Verdict: Home win.

Irish Independent

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