Friday 24 November 2017

League of Ireland Previews

Bohemians v UCD

(Dalymount Park, 7.45)

League form: Bohemians DWLWL, UCD WLWLL

Match odds: Bohemians 4/7, UCD 11/2, Draw 12/5

Referee: N Doyle (Dublin).

Team news: Glenn Cronin, Christy Fagan and Barry Murphy are fit to start for Bohs, but Mark Rossiter (hamstring) is out, while Ollie Cahill is a doubt. UCD have doubts over Robbie Creevy, but Graham Rusk and Cillian Morrisson return.

Talking point: The Gypsies' home form has been poor and Pat Fenlon was tetchy when quizzed about it last Friday. Having won just once at Dalymount, scoring three goals, the home fans will be looking for an improvement against a UCD team they beat comfortably last month.

Verdict: Home win.

Bray Wds v Shamrock Rvs

(Carlisle Grounds, 7.45)

League form: Bray DLLWD, Shamrock Rovers WDWDW

Match odds: Bray 7/2, Shamrock Rovers 3/4, Draw 5/2

Referee: A Buttimer (Cork).

Team news: Darren Quigley (elbow),Gary Shaw (foot), and Stephen Brennan (calf) all miss out for the hosts, while Dave Webster (ankle), Danny O'Connor (thigh) and Graham Kelly (knee) are doubts. In contrast, Michael O'Neill has a full deck to choose from for the first time this season.

Talking point: The Hoops return to the scene of last season's title-clinching draw to face the only team who have beaten them this season. Bray's form has dipped and they have injuries, so a home victory looks unlikely.

Verdict: Away win.

Dundalk v Derry City

(Oriel Park, 7.45, *Live Setanta Ireland)

League form: Dundalk DDWWW, Derry City WDWWD

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

Referee: D Hancock (Dublin).

Team news: A hamstring injury will keep Jason Byrne out for four to six weeks, while Stephen McDonnell's knee is expected to rule him out for some time. Eoghan Osbourne (fractured tibia) and Stephen Maher (groin) miss out, while Ross Gaynor is banned. Barry Molloy is Derry's only doubt with ankle ligament damage.

Talking point: Losing Byrne is a big blow for the Lilywhites. Mark Quigley will assume plenty of responsibility, while teen Mark Griffin will hope for an extended run after his double last Friday.

Verdict: Draw.

Galway Utd v Drogheda Utd

(Terryland Park, 7.45)

League form: Galway LLLLL, Drogheda LLLLL

Match odds: Galway 11/10, Drogheda 12/5, Draw 11/5

Referee: G Kelly (Cork).

Team news: Gary Curran is out for the hosts, who have doubts over the fitness of Joe Yoffe, Shaun Maher, Steve Feeney, Enda Curran, Gary Kelly and Alan Murphy. Alan McNally and Mark Nolan both return from suspension for Drogheda, Darragh Hanaphy is a doubt, while Jack Flynn is still out.

Talking point: Rarely, if ever, have two worse form lines collided. Both teams have lost eight on the trot, are conceding an average of almost two goals a game and have just seven points between them after 14 games each.

Verdict: Home win.

St Patrick's Ath v Sligo Rvs

(Richmond Park, 7.45)

League form: St Pat's Ath WWWDW, Sligo Rovers WLWWW

Match odds: St Pat's Ath 8/5, Sligo 8/5, Draw 11/5

Referee: P Tuite (Dublin).

Team news: Shane McFaul, Danny North and Dave Mulcahy are back in action for the Saints, but Conor Kenna remains out. Sligo have a clean bill of health for the visit to Inchicore.

Talking point: The Saints have been on the march and last suffered defeat when they travelled to the Yeats County on April 9. Pete Mahon's squad is getting stronger with the return of injured players and after a shaky start, a win tonight could move them away from the clutch of teams tied on 22 points.

Verdict: Home win.

Irish Independent

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