Sunday 22 April 2018

SSE Airtricity league previews

(stock picture)
(stock picture)
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Bohemians v Limerick

Dalymount Park (7.45)

Team News: Bohs are without Derek Pender, Kevin Devaney, Philly Gannon and Rob Cornwall with Dan Byrne, Keith Buckley and Paddy Kavanagh all doubtful. Limerick boss Tommy Barrett has fewer concerns with Eoin Wearen (groin) and Daniel Kearns (quad) possible absentees. Mark O'Sullivan is close to a return from his hand injury, but this game is likely to come too soon for him.

Talking Point: Are these sides destined to stay in the bottom half of the table this season? The table is shaping up that way so far with Bohs unable to build on their opening night win over Shamrock Rovers and Limerick suffering some heavy defeats on their travels to cancel out respectable home results. Certainly, their budgets would put them in the bottom half of the table.

Referee: J McLoughlin (Roscommon)

Betting: Bohemians 8/13 Limerick 4/1 Draw 13/5

Verdict: Home win

Dundalk v Shamrock Rovers

Oriel Park (7.30) RTé 2

Team News: Dundalk keeper Gary Rogers misses out with a calf problem, while Karolis Chvedukas (ankle) and Brian Gartland (tonsilitis) remain on the sidelines. Sean Hoare and Ronan Murray come back into contention which gives Stephen Kenny options. Sean Boyd and Joey O'Brien are out for the Hoops with Ally Gilchrist returning from suspension.

Talking Point: This is a game that Rovers cannot really afford to lose given they've already come back from trips to Bohemians, Cork and Waterford with a grand total of zero points. If Stephen Bradley's side are to become title challengers, they need to be able to come away from these games with a positive return. They showed they could compete with Dundalk in the latter half of last season and a feisty affair is a given due to simmering rivalry

Referee: D Tomney (Dublin)

Betting: Dundalk 4/6 Shamrock Rovers 7/2 Draw 5/2

Verdict: Draw

 

St Pat's Athletic v Bray wdrs

Richmond Park (7.45)

Team News: The Saints are at full strength for this game and are understood to be considering a move for free agent Conor Clifford to strengthen their squad. His ban for gambling offences expired last week. Bray are without Darragh Gibbons while Kevin Lynch is bidding to return from a foot problem.

Talking Point: The challenge for Bray is to prove they have the resilience to function as a credible member of the ten-team Premier Division. They are in serious danger of getting cut adrift at the bottom and with games against Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers and Waterford next on the list then it's hard to see where the points are going to come from. A big performance is required here against a Pat's side that is lacking a clinical edge at the moment.

Referee: R Matthews (Westmeath)

Betting: St Pat's Ath 1/4 Bray Wdrs 17/2 Draw 4/1

Verdict: Home win

 

Waterford v Cork City

RSC (7.45)

Team News: The Blues welcome Dean O'Halloran and Rory Feely back and Izzy Akinade is also available again but Gavan Holohan is a major doubt. On-loan Cork full-back John Kavanagh is ineligible. Cork are at full strength aside from long-term injury absentee John Dunleavy

Talking Point: Put simply, can Waterford keep this going? When these sides met in the second game of the campaign, Cork's quality shone through. Waterford have learned a lot since then and they have a perfect home record. This is the sternest test they have faced so far but if they can pass this one then they can start to dream about the possibilities for the rest of the campaign. Cork's struggles this term have all come on their travels too.

Referee: R Rogers (Dublin)

Betting: Waterford 7/2 Cork 8/11 Draw 12/5

Verdict: Draw

Irish Independent

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