Friday 17 November 2017

League of Ireland Previews

Bohemians v Shamrock Rvs

(Dalymount Park, 7.35, RTE2)

League form: Bohemians WDLDW, Shamrock Rovers WWDWL

Match odds: Bohemians 11/5, Shamrock Rovers 6/5, Draw 11/5

Referee: A Buttimer (Cork)

Team news: Gary Twigg's loss will be keenly felt by the champions and Stephen O'Donnell and Craig Sives are also ruled out with hamstring injuries. Pat Flynn (virus) and Chris Turner (calf) are doubts. Bohemians are still without Ollie Cahill (hamstring), Glenn Cronin (knee) and Barry Murphy (groin), but Robert Bayly and Lee Dixon are fit.

Talking point: Despite losing Twigg, the Hoops have plenty of depth up front and their cup win in Sligo has helped to heal any wounds after last week's loss to Bray.

Verdict: Away win.

Bray Wds v Drogheda utd

(Carlisle Grounds, 7.45)

League form: Bray Wanderers WDWLW, Drogheda LDLLD

Match odds: Bray Wanderers 8/13, Drogheda United 9/2, Draw 12/5

Referee: R Rogers (Dublin)

Team news: Pat Devlin is without Gary Shaw, who has had surgery on his foot, and Stephen Brennan, who has a calf injury. Joe Kendrick is a doubt. Alan McNally is back for the visitors, while Stephen McCrossan is a doubt with a groin strain.

Talking point: It took Bray 24 matches last season to get to 10 points, where they are this year after only six games. Their home form hasn't been great, but a win over the bottom side can help build the Carlisle Grounds faithful back up and put some distance between them and the basement.

Verdict: Home win.

Dundalk v Sligo Rovers

(Oriel Park, 7.45)

League form: Dundalk WDLWL, Sligo Rovers LDWWW

Match odds: Dundalk 17/10, Sligo Rovers 6/4, Draw 11/5

Referee: T Connolly (Dublin)

Team news: Matthew Blinkhorn will be sidelined for some weeks with a back injury and Sligo are without the suspended Danny Ventre also. Greg Bolger (thigh), Stephen Maher and Eoghan Osbourne (fractured tibia) are out for the hosts.

Talking point: Sligo received a double setback this week after a humbling 2-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers in the Setanta Cup and the news of Blinkhorn's injury. Dundalk have been entertaining but loose at the back and while Sligo will be targeting three points, it might be beyond them.

Verdict: Draw.

Galway United v Derry City

(Terryland Park 7.45)

League form: Galway Utd LDWLD, Derry City WDDWW

Match odds: Galway Utd 4/1, Derry City 8/11, Draw 23/10

Referee: N Doyle (Dublin)

Team news: Alan Murphy is a doubt for the hosts with a groin strain, while Gary Curran misses out. Barry Molloy is still absent for the visitors, while Ruairi Harkin is out too.

Talking point: Derry are one of the league's form teams and with both Rovers facing difficult away trips, it's not unreasonable for them to hope to be top of the table after tonight's action. Galway haven't rolled over for anyone, but Stephen Kenny's men are well organised and their sprinkle of Premier Division experience should see them through.

Verdict: Away win.

St Patrick's Athletic v UCD

(Richmond Park 7.45)

League form: St Patrick's Ath LLWDL, UCD LDLLL

Match odds: St Patrick's Ath 1/2, UCD 6/1, Draw 27/10

Referee: G Kelly (Cork)

Team news: Conor Kenna is the Saints' only absentee, while Sean Harding and Cillian Morrison are back for Martin Russell's UCD.

Talking point: The Saints have never enjoyed playing against the Students but Russell has admitted his charges will take longer than usual to adapt to Premier Division football. Pete Mahon's men could do with a win to keep touch with those above them after a stuttering start to the season. They'll be keen to give the home support something to cheer about after last Saturday's 2-0 defeat away to Sligo Rovers.

Verdict: Home win.

Irish Independent

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