Tuesday 12 December 2017

League of Ireland previews

Garry Doyle


(Dalymount Park, 7.45)

League form: Bohemians LLLDD, UCD LLLDD

Match odds: Bohemians 4/5, UCD 10/3, Draw 12/5

Referee: P McLaughlin (Monaghan)

Team news: Bohemians are missing Dinny Corcoran through suspension and also have doubts over Aidan Price (quad), Paddy Kavanagh (ankle) and Anto Murphy (hamstring). UCD, meanwhile, are likely to be without Ayman Ben Mohamed (knee), Dean Clarke (back) and Ian Ryan due to a foot problem.

Talking point: Aaron Callaghan returns to the club who sacked him last July, yet does so with neither regrets nor bitterness. "It was an honour to have managed Bohs – and I served them well," said Callaghan. "We worked off a budget of €150,000. My predecessor had 10 times that amount to spend."

Verdict: Draw

Bray WDS v Limerick

(The Carlisle Grounds, 7.45)

League form: Bray Wdrs WDLWD, Limerick WWDLD

Match odds: Bray Wdrs 6/4, Limerick 7/4, Draw 11/5

Referee: G Kelly (Cork)

Team news: Bray's long-term absentees – Eric McGill, Danny O'Connor, Adam Hanlon and Shane Byrne – are all available for selection again, but on a negative note, Shane O'Connor and Jake Kelly are injured and Rob Moloney suspended. Limerick have slight doubts over Craig Curran, Danny Galbraith and Shaun Kelly.

Talking point: Both teams have come in under the radar to produce good results this season – Bray beating Dundalk and Sligo at home, Limerick drawing away to St Pat's and Shamrock Rovers. Bray's defence – they have registered six clean sheets in 11 games so far – has been the platform for their fine form.

Verdict: Draw

Derry City v Shamrock RVS

(The Brandywell, 7.45)

League form: Derry WDDDD, Shamrock Rvs LDWWD

Match odds: Derry 29/10, Shamrock Rvs 10/11, Draw 23/10

Referee: T Connolly (Dublin)

Team news: Derry have Barry Molloy and Barry McNamee available again, but are missing Rory Patterson, who is suspended. Pat McEleney is an injury doubt. Rovers have to plan without the services of Eamon Zayed and also have a concern over Ronan Finn.

Talking point: With just two wins from his opening 11 league games, Roddy Collins' tenure at The Brandywell is becoming increasingly traumatic and yet a win here could re-ignite his season. It is unlikely however, because Rovers – despite drawing with Limerick last week – are the better side and should take the points.

Verdict: Away win

St Patrick's Ath v Cork City

(Richmond Park, 7.45)

League form: St Pat's Ath WWWWD, Cork City DWWDL

Match odds: St Pat's Athl 7/10, Cork City 4/1, Draw 12/5

Referee: P Sutton (Clare)

Team news: Cork's Michael Rafter is set to miss the bulk of this season with his ankle injury, an obvious blow to John Caulfield, who at least has Rafter's strike partner Danny Morrissey back training. Darren Murphy's hamstring strain makes him a doubt, but Darren Dennehy returns from suspension. St Pat's are missing Rene Gilmartin, who has a hamstring injury.

Talking point: After stuttering their way into the season, St Pat's have turned their campaign around with four wins and a draw. Cork, meanwhile, hit the skids in Dundalk last week to suffer their first defeat of the season and a second may follow here.

Verdict: Home win

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport