| 14.1°C Dublin

sse airtricity league previews garry doyle

Bohemians v Bray Wds

Dalymount Park (7.45)

League form: Bohemians WLDWL, Bray DLLDW

Match odds: Bohemians 1/2, Bray 11/2, Draw 11/4

Referee: K O'Regan (Kerry)

Team news: The Gypsies are missing Steven Beattie (suspension), Anto Murphy (ankle) and Dan Byrne (cruciate). Bray Wanderers, meanwhile, have doubts hanging over Adam Hanlon (knee), Eric McGill (hamstring), Philly Hughes (hamstring), Shane O'Neill (back) and Adam Mitchell (groin). Plus they have four players - David Cassidy, Dave Scully, Ismahil Akinade and Michael Barker -suspended.

Talking point: Despite picking up four points from their last two games - two more than they managed in their previous 12 - Bray remain just three points clear of UCD and the dreaded play-offs, so they are deep in relegation trouble.

Verdict: Home win

Cork City v Shamrock Rvs

Turner's Cross (7.45)

League form: Cork City LWWDD, Shamrock Rovers LLWDW

Match odds: Cork City 8/5, Shamrock Rovers 13/8, Draw 11/8

Referee: P Tuite (Dublin)

Team news: Shamrock Rovers have to plan without injured pairRyan Brennan and David O'Connor, while Cork are still missing Rob Lehane and Michael Rafter.

Talking point: After last week's draw in Athlone derailed their title ambitions, Cork manager John Caulfield immediately spoke about the importance of his side securing second spot. "We haven't had European football in seven years," said Caulfield. "We need to get that sorted out first before we think about anything else." Lose tonight and they will have plenty to think/worry about. Shamrock Rovers, unbeaten since Pat Fenlon took over, are getting better by the week and will fancy their chances.

Verdict: Draw

Derry City v Sligo Rovers

(The Brandywell, 7.45)

League form: Derry City LLLWL, Sligo Rovers LWWDL

Match odds: Derry City 7/5, Sligo Rovers 7/4, Draw 9/4

Referee: D McKeon (Dublin)

Team news: Raffaele Cretaro and Iarfhlaith Davoren returned from injury last week and are available for Sligo's trip north. However, John Russell is a doubt because of injury and long-term absentees Jeff Henderson and Daryl Kavanagh remain on the injured list. Worse again, Gavin Peers is suspended and Sean Maguire has returned to his parent club, West Ham. Derry, meanwhile, are missing Danny Ventre (knee), Rory Patterson (back) and Josh Tracey, who is away on international duty. In addition, Clifford Byrne has left the club.

Talking point: Neither side have shown any consistency this season and therefore neither have anything much to play for here.

Verdict: Home win

Drogheda Utd v Athlone T

(United Park, 7.45)

League form: Drogheda United WDLWW, Athlone Town DLDDD

Match odds: Drogheda United 4/5, Athlone Town 10/3, Draw 23/10

Referee: R Harvey (Dublin)

Team news: Athlone remain without Aidan Collins, Stephen Quigley and Graham Rusk but welcome Eric Foley back from suspension to play against his former club. Drogheda, meanwhile, are missing Gavin Brennan and Ciaran McGuigan with suspension.

Talking point: Since his appointment as the club's new manager last month, Damien Richardson has collected 10 points from five games, a drastic improvement for a team who were averaging one point per game prior to his arrival. Athlone, four points adrift of UCD, badly need a win but are unlikely to get one in Louth against the resurgent Drogs.

Verdict: Home win

St Pat's Ath v Dundalk

(Richmond Park, 7.05)

League form: St Patrick's Athletic WLWLW, Dundalk WDWDW

Match odds: St Patrick's Athletic 9/5, Dundalk 7/5, Draw 9/4

Referee: P McLaughlin (Monaghan)

Team news: St Pat's are at full strength with Derek Foran and Ian Bermingham available again after suspension. Dundalk, meanwhile, are missing Simon Kelly and Stephen O'Donnell, although O'Donnell is at least back training after his knee operation.

Talking point: Eleven points adrift of the leaders, champions St Pat's simply have to win if they are to have any hope of retaining their title. But their stop-and-start season has allowed Dundalk, last year's rivals for the crown, to steal a march on them. Unbeaten in the league since April 25, Stephen Kenny's men have the look of champions about them.

Verdict: Away win

UCD v Limerick

(Belfield Bowl 7.45)

League form: UCD LDLDL, Limerick WLWLL

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

Referee: A Buttimer (Cork)

Team news: UCD have to plan without Tomas Boyle and Mark Langtry while Limerick have injury concerns surrounding centre-halves Samuel Oji (groin) and Stephen Folan (thigh) as well as left-back Robbie Williams (groin).

Talking point: With just one win in 15 games, the Students are flirting with disaster but meet a Limerick side whose initial bounce under the new regime has stalled to a halt. Back-to-back defeats, and the concession of seven goals in those two games, have dented morale and yet even though UCD's need is greater, the fact remains that Limerick's team is better, which is why they should prevail here.

Verdict: Away win

Irish Independent