Sunday 17 December 2017

TONIGHT'S league of ireland previews

St Pat's v Sporting Fingal

(Richmond Park, LIVE RTE2, 7.35)

Last result: Dundalk 0 St Patrick's Athletic 0, Sporting Fingal 4 Drogheda United 1

Betting: St Pat's 11/10, Sporting Fingal 21/10, Draw 11/5

Referee: A Buttimer (Cork)

Team news: Damien Lynch (thigh strain) is Pete Mahon's only injury doubt, while Lorcan Fitzgerald is the Northsiders' only absentee as Alan Kirby returns in time to face his old club.

Talking point: All things considered, Liam Buckley's Premier League debutantes have had an extremely impressive start but they come up against a Saints side tonight that have not yet conceded a goal, so Fingal will need to continue their prolific scoring form to breach this defence.

Verdict: Away win.

Galway Utd v Dundalk

(Terryland Park, 7.45)

Last result: Galway United 0 Shamrock Rovers 1, Dundalk 0 St Patrick's Athletic 1

Betting: Galway 7/4, Dundalk 7/5, Draw 21/10

Referee: P Sutton (Clare)

Team news: Jason Molloy, Stephen O'Donnell, Bobby Ryan and Jamie McKenzie will all have late fitness tests for the Tribesmen, while Alan Murphy is still out. Tiarnan Mulvenna (knee) and Alan Cawley (cheekbone) remain sidelined for the visitors.

Talking point: Controversy surrounded the state of Terryland Park's pitch last week, so a lot could depend on how the Lilywhites adjust to the bumpy grass pitch tonight as Sean Connor comes up against his former employers.

Verdict: Draw.

Drogheda Utd v Sligo RVs

(Hunky Dory's Park, 7.45)

Last result: Sporting Fingal 4 Drogheda United 1, Bohemians 0 Sligo Rovers 0

Betting: Drogheda United 21/10, Sligo Rovers 11/10, Draw 11/5

Referee: D McKeon (Meath)

Team news: Corie Treacy and Joe Kendrick are both doubtful for the hosts tonight, while John Flood is currently suspended. Gavin Peers is suspended for the Bit 'O Red, while Joseph Ndo is still awaiting a work permit.

Talking point: Alan Mathews has described his side's start to the season as "shocking", having conceded 13 goals in just four games and, while they face a side tonight that have only scored three thus far, so this won't be an easy opportunity to stem the tide.

Verdict: Away win.

Shamrock Rovers v UCD

(Tallaght Stadium, 8.0)

Last result: Galway United 0 Shamrock Rovers 1, UCD 1 Bray Wanderers 0

Betting: Shamrock Rovers 8/13, UCD 9/2, Draw 9/4

Referee: R Winter (Dublin)

Team news: The Hoops' injury victims Gary Twigg and Dessie Baker are joined by Pat Sullivan and Stephen Bradley while Pat Flynn, Paddy Kavanagh and Danny Murphy are all doubtful but striker Thomas Stewart has finally signed. Paul Corry is still out for the Students, while Chris Mulhall is a doubt.

Talking point: A 1-0 victory away to Galway is a start for Rovers but hardly a warning shot to Bohemians and Michael O'Neill's men need to appease the home crowd soon after two successive defeats in Tallaght.

Verdict: Home win.

Irish Independent

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