Airtricity League Previews
(7.45pm unless stated)
Friday, August 17
Airtricity League Premier Dvision
Derry City v Bohemians, Brandywell. Referee: Neil Doyle.
DERRY CITY host Bohemians looking to end a three-game winless streak after two weeks without a game. The Candystripes beat Bohs 1-0 in their opening game of the season.
Bohemians were disappointed not to get at least a share of the spoils against Drogheda United last week.
Derry have injury doubts over Stephen McLaughlin, Ruaidhri Higgins, Patrick McEleney and Rory Patterson but Stewart Greacen is back from injury. Bohemians are without suspended Dave Scully and Karl Moore while Dave Mulcahy returns from his one-match ban. New signing Ken Carr is included but Kevin Feely (knee) is a doubt.
Derry City manager Declan Devine: “Bohemians have players who can hurt us and they are a physically big side, but we want to take some good form into our important FAI Cup game with UCD next week."
Bohemians boss Aaron Callaghan: “They have been missing strong, experienced players through the middle of the team and they haven’t had the continuity they needed. But they’re always a strong side, and always a difficult side to play against in the Brandywell. They have beaten us twice this season but on both occasions they were close matches.”
St Patrick's Athletic v Bray Wanderers, Richmond Park. Referee: Padraigh Sutton.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC host Bray Wanderers looking to maintain the pressure on the leading pack but have strong memories of a 3-3 draw with the Seagulls earlier in the season.
St Pat’s welcome Jake Carroll back from suspension, while John Russell will have a fitness test but Mark Rossiter remains out with a knee injury, while Stephen O’Flynn (ribs) and Dean Kelly (groin) remain on the sidelines. Bray have a full compliment to pick from.
St Pat’s boss Liam Buckley: ““If the last game between the sides is anything to go by, the crowd are set for an exciting game. Hopefully this time though, it’ll be a game we finish on the right side of. Bray always produce a performance in Inchicore so we know that it will be a tricky game.”
Bray Wanderers Director of Football Pat Devlin: “I'm hoping we can improve that aspect of our game against St Pat’s who have had a great season so far. The games between us have always been entertaining and we are looking forward to it."
UCD v Cork City, UCD Bowl. Referee: Rob Rogers.
UCD will look to build on last week’s victory over Shelbourne when they host draw specialists Cork City at UCD Bowl. The Students secured their first win in eight games last week while Cork have drawn eight of their last 11 league games.
UCD are missing John Kelly, Graham Rusk, Chris Mulhall, Tom O’Halloran, Cillian Morrison and Samir Belhout through injury. Paul Corry is suspended due to the four yellow cards rule. Cork City are without Colin Healy (thigh), while Neal Horgan (knee) and Graham McCarthy (ankle) are doubts. Cathal Lordan (knee), Eoghan Murphy (ankle) and Kevin Burns (ankle) are all out. Keigan Parker returns from suspension.
UCD boss Martin Russell: “Cork are proving hard to beat to all, but we received a boost last week that we are determined to build on it.”
Cork City boss Tommy Dunne: “It is an important game for us and one we have to try to get a positive result from. As was proved on the opening day of the season, it is a difficult place to go, so we know it will be tough for us. Our performances in recent weeks have been quite good, but we have not been getting the results we need, so we will be going up there looking to get the three points.”
Drogheda United v Shamrock Rovers, Hunky Dorys Park (8.00pm). Referee: Damien Hancock.
DROGHEDA UNITED will bid to consolidate second spot when they host third-placed Shamrock Rovers at Hunky Dorys Park live on Setanta.
United have won seven of their last eight league games while the Hoops will look to go one better than Monday night when they drew with leaders Sligo.
Drogheda defender Philip Hand is a doubt while Conor McMahon is suspended. Rovers are without Aaron Greene (knee) Graham Gartland (back) and Stephen O'Donnell (hamstring) and Pat Sullivan (ankle) will be assessed before the game.
Drogheda boss Mick Cooke: “This is a must-win game for them, but it's crucial for us. If we lose we are still a few points ahead of them in the table. Rovers are another team we haven't beaten since 2007, like Bohemians last week, but this is something I won't be concentrating on.”
Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Kenny: "Drogheda have done very well this year. I'd say Mick Cooke is definitely the manager of the year this season, things are going terrific for them. But from our point of view, we have been tight defensively lately and that is a good platform for us to win games from.”
Shelbourne v Sligo Rovers, Tolka Park (8.00pm). Referee: Paul Tuite.
LEADERS Sligo Rovers will look to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier Division when they travel to Shels, who have lost two of their last three league games.
The home side will look to get back to winning ways to maintain their push for a UEFA spot.
Shelbourne have a full strength squad to choose from. Sligo have David Cawley back from suspension. Danny North is ruled out long term with a cruciate ligament injury while new signing Liam Buchanan is awaiting international clearance.
Sligo boss Ian Baraclough: “We are expecting a hard game in Tolka Park. Between now and the end of the season, everyone is going to raise their game. There are teams challenging for the top honour, European football and to avoid relegation so there will be no easy games. We’ve had a couple of days to recover from what was a big night in Tallaght and Shelbourne will be wounded after defeat to UCD last week.”
Airtricity League First Division
SD Galway v Athlone Town, Eamonn Deacy Park. Referee: Robert Harvey.
SD GALWAY will look to build on their second win of the season when they beat Mervue United last week. Athlone Town are looking for their first win in six games. Town have doubts over Noel McGee, Brian Gill and Stephen Last but Niall Scullion returns from suspension and Neil Harney who has recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of the game last weekend in Waterford.
Waterford United v Wexford Youths, RSC. Referee: Keith Callanan.
WATERFORD UNITED moved second with a draw last week at home to Athlone and will bid to maintain their promotion push in a derby meeting with Wexford. Ben Ryan (thigh) is a doubt to face his former Youths colleagues while Peter Keegan and Peter Higgins are in contention but suspension rules out Willie John Kiely and Peter White.
Saturday, August 18
Airtricity League First Division
Longford Town v Mervue United, Flancare Park (7.30pm). Referee: James McKell.
LONGFORD TOWN need to get back to winning ways after suffering a surprise home loss at home to Finn Harps last week while Mervue were disappointed to suffer a derby defeat against SD Galway.
Finn Harps v Limerick, Finn Park. Referee: Ray Matthews.
LEADERS Limerick face a testing trip to Finn Harps, who have put together a six-game unbeaten run. Harps are without suspended Thomas McBride while Mark Scoltock, Michael Funston, Adam Clarke and long term trio Stephen O’Donnell, Hugh Carlin and Blain Curtis are all injured. Gary Merritt, Thomas McMonagle and Tommy Bonner all have groin strains and are doubtful. Limerick boss Pat Scully: “Nothing will come easy in this fixture and Harps are unbeaten in their last six games. We must focus on our own performance and if we do that, we will get the result we need.”