Airtricity League Previews
(7.45pm unless stated)
Friday, June 29
Airtricity League Premier Division
Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers, Dalymount Park. Referee: Rob Rogers.
BOHEMIANS will be looking for their first win in three games when they host old rivals Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park.
The Gypsies suffered a late defeat at St Patrick’s Athletic last week after a disciplined display while the Hoops came out on top of Shelbourne in a five-goal thriller at Tolka Park.
Bohs are hoping to have Owen Heary back from a hamstring injury while Evan McMillan returns from suspension. Dave Scully is suspended while Lee Dixon (toe injury) remains out.
Rovers are still without Ciaran Kilduff (foot), while Sean Gannon (ankle) is out but Stephen Rice and Killian Brennan return from suspension.
Bohemians manager Aaron Callaghan: “I don’t change anything in relation to the training for a match like this but from the players’ perspective it is easier to get motivated for a game against Rovers. It might be a little harder against one of the so-called smaller teams.”
Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Kenny: “We secured an important victory against Shels in the league last week, and backed that up by progressing to the semi-final of the EA Sports Cup against St Pat's. This is our third derby game in just over a week, and we will be looking for a third win from three.”
Bray Wanderers v Cork City, Carlisle Grounds. Referee: Damien Hancock.
BRAY WANDERERS will bid to get back to winning ways when they host a Cork City side that has drawn it’s last three league fixtures. Wanderers lost 3-1 at Drogheda last week then went out of the EA SPORTS Cup by the same scoreline at home to Limerick FC.
City should their character by bouncing back from 2-0 to draw with Derry City last weekend.
Bray defender Pierce Sweeney is their only doubt after a recent spell of illness. Cork welcome John Dunleavy back from suspension while Neal Horgan (calf) should be available. Dan Murray is close to a recall. Shane O’Connor (arm) and Stephen Mulcahy remain absent. New signing Graham McCarthy will also be available for selection.
Bray Wanderers Director of Football Pat Devlin: "We are looking forward to Cork's visit and we will be hoping to eliminate the silly mistakes and at the Carlisle we will be hoping to get something from the game."
Cork City manager Tommy Dunne: “We know it is going to be tough. in fairness to Bray they are playing some good football and they are a threat to any team in the division.”
Derry City v Drogheda United, Brandywell. Referee: Neil Doyle.
DERRY CITY will bid to halt Drogheda United’s recent good form when they welcome the Co Louth side to the Brandywell. The Candystripes were pegged back from 2-0 up to draw with Cork City last week then crashed out of the EA SPORTS Cup in midweek.
Drogheda have won their last two league games and knocked Dundalk out of the EA SPORTS Cup on penalties in midweek and sit tight in a bunch of three clubs chasing leaders Sligo.
Derry are without suspended pair Stewart Greacen and Ryan McBride. Greacen also suffered an ankle injury sustained in Tuesday's 4-0 defeat to Sligo in the EA Sports Cup quarter-final. Owen Morrison is an injury concern while Michael Barr is line to make his debut. Drogheda will give fitness tests to Brian Gannon, Sean Brennan and Philip Hand while ex-Monaghan United player Conor McMahon joins the squad.
Derry City manager Declan Devine: "Drogheda are a very good team and one of the most physical sides in the country. They are direct in their approach and out-powered us when we last played them.”
Drogheda United boss Mick Cooke: “I don't know any player who doesn't enjoy going up to Derry, especially with the atmosphere their fans create. It's always a wonderful experience. I've had good results against Derry in my career and we have already beaten them earlier this year. But we are under no illusions that this will be an easy game and I'm sure they will provide tough opposition.”
Dundalk v Sligo Rovers, Oriel Park. Referee: Dave McKeon.
PREMIER Division leaders Sligo Rovers travel to Oriel Park looking for their first league win since May 18 after a defeat by UCD and draw with Bohemians followed by an enforced extended break due to Monaghan United’s demise.
Dundalk drew with UCD last week then went out of the EA SPORTS Cup on penalties after a drawn game against Drogheda United.
Dundalk goalkeeper Ger Hanley (broken wrist) is out while youngsters Ben McLaughlin and Bob McKenna (holidays) are unavailable. Derek Foran (ankle) is expected to be fit while Michael Rafter and Stephen McDonnell return from suspension. Conor McDonald (ankle) is a doubt. Sligo welcomed back Joseph Ndo from injury in midweek but Alan Keane and Jason McGuinness are suspended, while Mark Quigley is a doubt with a calf problem.
Dundalk manager Sean McCaffrey: “I am looking forward to playing this match. They are a footballing side and they are top of the league; deservedly so. I don’t mind playing Sligo because their style of play suits us, unlike playing Drogheda. It isn’t a physical battle, which is great for us. We produced probably our best half of football against Sligo at The Showgrounds in March and I see no reason why we can’t do the same at Oriel Park.”
St Patrick's Athletic v Shelbourne, Richmond Park. Referee: Anthony Buttimer.
ST PATRICK’S Athletic will look to win their second derby game on the trot when they host Shelbourne after last week’s thriller against Bohemians. The Saints need to win to maintain the pressure on leaders Sligo Rovers.
Shels were unlucky to lose their own derby game at home to Shamrock Rovers so will have every incentive of getting back to winning ways against St Pat’s.
St Pat’s operate without long-term absentee Mark Rossiter and Jake Kelly (hamstring) is a doubt. Shels are without suspended Anto Murphy while Glenn Cronin (ankle) is a doubt but Lorcan Fitzgerald and Philly Gorman expect to return from injuries.
St Pat’s boss Liam Buckley: “Alan Mathews is again doing a very good job with Shels this season. He always has his side well prepared, he has his team well organised all the time, but at the same time they have a lot of players who pose a lot of problems in attacking areas. They always pose a threat so we’ll have to be 100 per cent concentrated at all times.”
Airtricity League First Division
Athlone Town v SD Galway, Athlone Town Stadium. Referee: Conor Fitzgerald.
ATHLONE TOWN will bid to get back to winning ways after their 4-1 home loss to Waterford last time out if they are to stay in the promotion play-off hunt. SD Galway secured their first win of the season in a derby win over Mervue. Mixie Harty returns from injury for SD Galway. Athlone welcome back Brian Gill from suspension while Ross Kenny (knee) is back. Warren Conroy (knee) is likely to miss out along with Paul Danaher and Mark Walsh.
Limerick FC v Finn Harps, Jackman Park. Referee: Sean Grant.
LIMERICK FC will bid to secure their sixth consecutive league win when they host a Finn Harps side that has lost six of its last seven First Division fixtures. Dominic Foley returned from injury to play in the EA SPORTS Cup win over Bray but Joe Gamble is suspended.
Mervue United v Longford Town, Fahy's Field. Referee: Phil Cashera.
LEADERS Longford Town travel to Mervue United bidding to maintain their promotion push and looking to inflict more frustration on a Mervue side reeling from a derby loss to SD Galway. United are without Kenny Farrell (ankle) and Michael McSweeney (hamstring) but Alan Murphy, who was a late withdrawal from last week’s derby game, looks to recover from an ankle injury.
Wexford Youths v Waterford United, Ferrycarrig Park (8.00pm). Referee: Kevin O'Regan.
WEXFORD YOUTHS host Waterford United in a South East derby which could be pivotal to their hopes of staying in contention for a play-off spot. Youths have lost their last three games in succession while Waterford have won their last three league fixtures. Willie John Kiely and midfielder Gary Dunphy remain as doubts for Friday, Willie John Kiely and midfielder Gary Dunphy remain doubtful for Waterford.