Airtricity League Previews
(7.45pm unless stated)
Friday, July 20
Airtricity League Premier Division
Shamrock Rovers v Bray Wanderers, Tallaght Stadium (7.05pm - Live on RTE2). Referee: Alan Kelly.
SHAMROCK ROVERS host Bray Wanderers looking to build on their impressive Champions League display against Ekranas in midweek and end a run of three successive draws in all competitions.
Wanderers are looking for their first win in five games but were unfortunate to lose with ten men in a decent performance against Shelbourne last week.
The Hoops are without Aaron Greene (knee) while Craig Sives is a doubt. Gary Twigg is suspended. Bray are minus suspended Kieran Marty Waters while Danny O'Connor and Adam Mitchell return from their bans. Dave Webster (knee) and Sean Houston (thigh) are back in contention.
Hoops boss Stephen Kenny: “Overall it was a good performance on Tuesday and I’ll be looking for us to build on that in this game against Bray. Bray are a good side and have been causing problems for a lot of teams this year, but our home form has been good. And I think if we perform well we can get a win, which is very important for us at the moment.”
Bray Director of Football Pat Devlin: "We are back to full strength now. Games between ourselves and Rovers have been great games and I expect Friday night to be no different.”
Dundalk v Derry City, Oriel Park. Referee: Paul McLaughlin.
DUNDALK host Derry City looking to end a five-game winless streak. The Candystripes have won just once in their last five games as injuries have hampered their progress.
The Lilywhites impressed in holding Shamrock Rovers last week while City were disappointed to lose to a late Sligo Rovers winner last time out.
Dundalk continue without injured quartet Luke Danville (medial ligament knee), Conor McDonald (ankle), Eoghan Osborne (shin), Shane O’Neill (groin) while Liam Burns (dead leg) is a doubt. Michael Rafter (hamstring) returns to action.
Derry are without Stewart Greacen (ankle). Kevin Deery (knee) and Rory Patterson (hamstring) while Ruaidhri Higgins is suspended. Simon Madden and Stephen McLaughlin return from bans and Mark Farren may be in with a chance of playing after he made a return to training during the week.
Dundalk caretaker boss Darius Kierans: “Nobody likes coming to Oriel Park – there’s no doubt about that – and we have to make it as difficult as possible for any team that does come. We need to find a consistent level.”
Derry City boss Declan Devine: "There is no doubt that this will be a difficult task for us. Dundalk are coming into the fixture off a good result last week at home to Shamrock Rovers, and their players will be looking to impress in every game until a new manager has been appointed. But from our own point of view we need to build on last week’s performance and once again give a good account of ourselves.”
Shelbourne v Drogheda United, Tolka Park (8.00pm). Referee: Damien Hancock.
SHELBOURNE bid to secure their third successive victory when they host the league’s form team at Tolka Park – second-placed Drogheda have won their last four fixtures and lost just three games all season.
Drogheda were very impressive in beating St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park last week while Shels had to dig out a 3-2 win over Bray Wanderers.
Shelbourne continue without suspended Barry Clancy while Glenn Cronin also misses out as he continues to recover from the ankle injury received away to Derry City.
Drogheda’s Brian Gannon is out through inkiry while Ryan Brennan is suspended and both Stephen Quigley and Eric Foley back return from their respective bans.
Shels boss Alan Mathews: “We know we will have to produce a really top class performance to achieve the three points on offer, but I firmly believe that we have the players to take on any side this season, and we’ll into the game full of confidence. “
Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke: “It's never easy travelling to Shels, they are playing well at the moment and so are we, I reckon it should be the game of the night. But we are five games unbeaten now in the league and we just want to keep that run going.”
Airtricity League First Division
Limerick v SD Galway, Jackman Park. Referee: Andrew Mullally.
LIMERICK moved top of the First Division last week with a comfortable win in Mervue and will face the other Galway outfit in this fixture. Blues boss Pat Scully:“We were very good last Friday night against Mervue and that victory is after taking us top of the table, we must now keep our focus in every game, starting with this Friday night at home to SD Galway.” The Galway outfit suffered a 3-0 loss in Waterford last week.
Mervue United v Athlone Town, Fahy's Field. Referee: Keith Callanan.
MERVUE United will bid to end a run of five consecutive league losses when they host Athlone Town at Fahy’s Field. Manager Johnny Glynn knows his side will have to end a poor run of form against Athlone to get back to winning ways. He said: “We are on a disappointing run at the moment and will have to turn around a poor display against a very good Limerick side last week. Training has gone well this week and the players have responded well to that poor display.” Town’s Noel McGee is suspended but new signings Shane Dunne and Sean Skelly are both now available for selection.
Saturday, July 21
Airtricity League First Division
Longford Town v Waterford United, Flancare Park (7.30pm). Referee: Sean Grant.
LONGFORD Town welcome third-placed Waterford to Flancare Park in an intriguing fixture. Tony Cousins’s men lost top spot in the division last week so will be keen to secure the three points. Waterford boss Paul O'Brien is without suspended Paul Carey but loan signing Stephen Mulcahy should make his debut. The Blues are looking for their seventh win in succession.
Finn Harps v Wexford Youths, Finn Park. Referee: Phil Caschera.
FINN HARPS will look to build on the grass shoots of their recent displays where they have secured four points from their last two fixtures against a Wexford side that has gone six games without a win – albeit with draws in their last two games. Youths held Longford Town to a draw last weekend.
Sunday, July 22
Airtricity League Premier Division
UCD v St Patrick's Athletic, UCD Bowl (3.00pm). Referee: Rob Rogers.
THE Students will bid to capitalize on any potential fatigue in the St Pat’s set-up as Liam Buckley’s side return from their UEFA Europa League action in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Skipper Conor Kenna will be unavailable for St Pat’s due to suspension. UCD are looking for their first league victory in five games.
Sligo Rovers v Cork City, The Showgrounds (7.00pm). Referee: Paul Tuite.
SLIGO Rovers will bid to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier Division when they host Cork City at the Showgrounds on Sunday. Rovers are in Europa League action on Thursday in Slovakia so will face a real challenge ahead of hosting City. Cork boss Tommy Dunne has a major doubt over the fitness of ex-Sligo winger Daryl Horgan (hamstring), while Davin O’Neill (groin), Gearóid Morrissey (ankle), Kalen Spillane (Achilles) and Dan Murray (groin) are facing fitness tests.