Airtricity League Previews
(7.45pm unless stated)
Friday, June 1
Airtricity League Premier Division
Dundalk v Drogheda United, Oriel Park (7.05pm). Referee: Paul Tuite.
DUNDALK go into their televised derby clash with Drogheda United looking for their third win in a row after beating St Patrick’s Athletic in the league then knocking out non-league St Patrick’s CY from the FAI Ford Cup.
Drogheda have not won in their last five league games but secured a comfortable FAI Ford Cup over Mayfield United last week.
Dundalk are missing the suspended Michael Rafter while Gavin Brennan is suspended for Drogheda. Stephen Quigley is close to a return from an ankle injury.
Dundalk Manager Sean McCaffrey: “I am looking forward to the game. I think we’re good enough to win. We have played them twice this year, drew one and lost one but in my opinion, we were the better team on both occasions. Having said that Drogheda are doing very well. Mick (Cooke) deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done up there and they’ve a lot of good players but we’re well fit to beat Drogheda.”
Drogheda boss Mick Cooke: “We did well on Friday night against Mayfield, it's nice to get back to winning ways. I think we showed what we are capable of doing but now we need to start registering wins in the league.”
Bohemians v Sligo Rovers, Dalymount Park. Referee: Damien Hancock.
Live on Ocean FM in association with The Food Centre at Abbey Foods.
BOHEMIANS have picked up their form again after a couple of losses and beat Shelbourne in the league last time out followed by a cup success over Drumkeen United.
After a brilliant run of form Sligo have suffered their first blip with a league loss at UCD followed by a home cup exit at the hands of Monaghan United.
Bohs give a fitness test to Dinny Corcoran (groin) and Dave Mulcahy (calf) but John O’Connor (infection), Neil Harney (illness), Andy McNulty (hamstring) and Owen Heary (hamstring) are out. Heary will take charge in the dug-out due to manager Aaron Callaghan’s one-match suspension. Luke Byrne is on Ireland U19 duty.
Sligo Rovers will be without Romauld Boco (international duty) and Alan Keane (suspended) while Joseph Ndo and Iarfhlaith Davoren miss out because of injury.
Bohemians manager Aaron Callaghan: “Any win breeds confidence. It would be great to get a result. If we can take a big scalp it would set us up nicely for the second phase.”
Sligo boss Ian Baraclough: “"We've had a good week training and everything is being geared towards Friday night. It will be a tough game because from viewing their recent performances, Bohs are improving and they had a good win in the cup last week.”
Bray Wanderers v UCD, Carlisle Grounds. Referee: Anthony Buttimer.
BRAY’S excellent recent run of form ended with an unlucky 3-2 league loss to Derry City before they went out of the FAI Ford Cup after a replay against Shelbourne.
UCD produced a surprise victory over Sligo Rovers last time out in the league to end a seven-game winless streak then beat non-league Phoenix 3-1 in the cup.
Wanderers have a fully-fit squad to pick from. UCD operate without Ger Barron (foot), Chris Mulhall (groin), Cillian Morrison (hip flexor) and Sean Russell (back) while Graham Rusk (calf), David O'Connor (hip flexor) and Ciaran Nangle (hamstring) are doubts.
Bray Director of Football Pat Devlin:"UCD are a very good side, there is not a lot between us, it could go either way but we will be looking for the three points.”
UCD manager Martin Russell: "We are focused on the Bray game and would very much like to enter the break on a high. We all know that Pat Devlin's side are competitive and that it will be a tough game, however we will be looking to play our brand of football and come away with all the points."
Derry City v Shelbourne, Brandywell. Referee: Derek Tomney.
DERRY CITY have moved into fourth in the table with three wins in the league on the bounce and beat Finn Harps 4-0 last time out.
Shelbourne overcame a tough couple of cup games against Bray Wanderers after league losses against Sligo Rovers and Bohemians.
The Candystripes are without Stewart Greacen (knee) and Kevin Deery (knee), while Ryan McBride is suspended. Shelbourne still have Lorcan Fitzgerald and Stephen Hurley out while Gareth Matthews faces a fitness test. John Sullivan is suspended.
Derry City boss Declan Devine: "We know this is going to be a difficult game to finish off before the break. I was in Tolka Park watching them on Monday evening and they looked more than capable of turning over any side as we well know. We know that we must be on our guard to get anything from this game but I feel we can push on and get our fourth win in a row.”
Monaghan United v St Patrick's Athletic, Gortakeegan (8.00pm). Referee: Dave McKeon.
MONAGHAN United host St Patrick’s Athletic looking to build on their best form of the campaign which includes a league win over Dundalk, a draw with Shamrock Rovers and cup victory over Sligo Rovers.
St Patrick’s Athletic suffered their first loss of the season against Dundalk but breezed past Crumlin United in the FAI Ford Cup last time out.
Monaghan lost Chris Bennion and Owen Humphrey through illness before the Sligo game last week but they should return. Aidan Collins, Robert Bayly, Gareth O’ Connor, Shaun Maher and John Reilly are still out through injury.
St Pat’s defender Mark Rossiter’s knee injury will keep him sidelined for the season, while James Chambers (knee) is still a couple of weeks from returning.
St Pat’s boss Liam Buckley: “We’re expecting a tough game from Monaghan. They have had some great results lately so that just shows you how well they’re playing at the moment. We’d a tough game against them earlier in the season in what turned out to be an exciting 1-1 draw, and it’s likely to be another good game up there. “
Monaghan manager Roddy Collins: “St Pats in third position are having an excellent season. We had a close encounter against them in Richmond Park. If we are to get a result against them we will have to be at our recent best. Unfortunately we still have a long injury list but thankfully whatever eleven I start I know they will play out of their skins.”
Shamrock Rovers v Cork City, Tallaght Stadium (8.00pm). Referee: Rob Rogers.
SHAMROCK ROVERS will be looking to regain their winning habit when they host Cork City as the Hoops have been held to four draws in their last six league games. They did beat Limerick 1-0 in a tight cup game last time out.
Cork City were very impressive in beating Athlone Town 6-1 in the cup and are unbeaten in five league games.
The Hoops are without Ciaran Kilduff (metatarsal), Sean Gannon (ankle) and Ken Oman (hamstring). For City, Shane O’Connor (foot) and knee injury victims Stephen Mulcahy, Kevin Murray and Neal Horgan are out but Jamie Murphy has returned from injury. Dan Murray (groin) is playing through the pain barrier while Colin Healy and Gearóid Morrissey, who have groin injuries, and Davin O’Neill (hip) are doubts.
Cork City boss Tommy Dunne: “We performed reasonably well against Rovers in our previous meeting; they had quite a bit of possession, but we possibly had the more clear-cut chances on the night. I think we are a better side now than we were then. We realise that it will be a tough ask, so we need to start the game well, and move the ball around. I think if we play to our potential and cut out the mistakes that have hurt us on a number of occasions this season, then we will give ourselves a good chance of getting a positive result.”
Airtricity League First Divison
SD Galway v Finn Harps, Terryland Park. Referee: John Grimes.
SD GALWAY continue their search for their first win of the season when they host a Harps side that has lost its last five league games on the bounce. Harps suffered another injury blow with Blain Curtis becoming the third of their squad to suffer a cruciate injury in recent weeks.
Waterford United v Mervue United, RSC. Referee: Sean Grant.
WATERFORD United host Mervue United looking to maintain their good league form which has seen Paul O’Brien’s side secure four wins in five. Mervue will have to claim their first ever league win over the Blues if they are to secure the three points but are full of confidence after a league win over Wexford and a cup success against SD Galway.
Wexford Youths v Athlone Town, Ferrycarrig Park (8.00pm). Referee: Kevin O'Regan.
WEXFORD Youths had to dig in to overcome Douglas Hall after a replay to help them bounce back from a surprise loss in Mervue in their previous league game. Athlone had a nightmare result in Cork City in the cup and Mike Kerley’s plans of getting back in the play-off hunt have been hit by numerous injuries.
Saturday, June 2
Airtricity League First Division
Longford Town v Limerick FC, Flancare Park (7.30pm). Referee: Phil Cashera.
LIMERICK FC will travel to leaders Longford Town looking to cut the deficit between the top two to just a single point. Town were stunned by Cherry Orchard in the FAI Ford Cup last week but have won their last five league games. Limerick were unfortunate to lose to Shamrock Rovers in the cup and have five wins from their previous six league games.