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LOI : Five Games Remain To Determine Destiny Of Dublin Trio

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Five games stand between destiny and fate as a trio of Dublin sides head into the final furlong in need of results for different reasons.

St Patrick’s Athletic now have their title destiny in their own hands having over come title rivals Dundalk last week. The Saints travel to Bray this evening looking to move six points ahead of the lilywhites before they face Limerick tomorrow.

Across the Liffey and the picture is far more gloomy with northside rivals Bohemians and Shelbourne battling to stave off the dreaded drop , something Bohs have and advantage in having thrashed their neighbours last time out.

Bray Wanderers –v- St Patrick’s Athletic    8:00 (Thursday)

Relegation threatened Bray Wanderers take on league leaders St Patrick’s Athletic at the Carlisle Grounds.

The 2-0 defeat last week at the hands of Derry City has left Bray Wanderers sitting in 11th , one point off the bottom. They face an incredibly difficult game here and will need every advantage they can get if they are to have any chance of securing some badly needed points. Bray will hoping that the teams around them also  lose points or they could find themselves bottom of the table heading into the home stretch.

Goals from Chris Forrester and Daryl Kavanagh gave St Patrick’s Athletic a vital 2-0 victory over title rivals Dundalk last time out. That win sees St Pat’s move thee points clear at the top of the table with five games to go. Manager Liam Buckley and his side now know it’s their championship to lose. They cannot afford any slip ups or their 14 year wait for a league title will continue.

Prediction: Away win

Bohemians –v- Derry City    7:45    (Friday)

Relegation battling Bohemians take on Derry City at Dalymount Park.

Goals from Dinny Corcoran, Ryan McEvoy and Dave Mulcahy gave Bohemians a resounding 3-0 away win last week against relegation rivals Shelbourne. That victory lifts Bohs to 10th position , five points clear of the bottom. While not mathematically safe, Bohs will feel confident that they have what it takes to survive for another year, a positive result here will go a long way to achieving that.

Goals from David McDaid and Michael Rafter gave Derry City a 2-0 win last week against Bray Wanderers. That win still keeps Derry in the hunt for a European place but with an eight point deficit , albeit with a game in hand, the prospect of a place in Europe next season seems unlikely. A win here will nonetheless keep up the pressure which is all they can do at this point in time.

Prediction: Draw

Cork City –v- UCD    7:45 (Friday)

Sixth placed Cork City take on ninth placed UCD at Turners Cross.

Goals from Ciaran Kilduff, Shane Duggan and Danny Morrissey gave Cork City a 3-2 away win over Drogheda United on Tuesday. This win establishes Cork in sixth place as they make early preparations for next season giving that they have nothing to play for, for the remainder of this campaign.

The 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Sligo Rovers leaves UCD in ninth position, six points off the bottom. Another three points will guarantee their safety for another season, but there is still a slight chance that they could once again be sucked into a relegation battle.

Prediction: Draw

Dundalk –v- Limerick    7:45 (Friday)

Title chasing Dundalk play host to eight placed Limerick at Oriel Park.

After the 2-0 defeat at the hands of St Patrick’s Athletic last week, Dundalk are now in second place, three points off the top. That defeat means the Louth side cannot afford any slip ups between now and the end of the season, simply put every game is now a must win game. Drop any points and Dundalk will have to be satisfied with a second placed finish.

Goals from Jason Hughes and Rory Gaffney gave Limerick an impressive 2-0 victory over Shamrock Rovers on Tuesday. That result leaves the Munster side in eight position, established their safety and has left them with nothing to play for in the remaining five games. That being said, Limerick no doubt will look to upset Dundalk’s title chances by taking points off them here.

Prediction: Home win

Sligo Rovers –v- Shelbourne    7:45 (Friday)

European chasing Sligo Rovers take on relegation battling Shelbourne at the Showgrounds.

Goals from Kieran Djilali, Joseph Ndo and Danny North gave Sligo Rovers a 3-0 away win over UCD last week and kept up their momentum in their pursuit of a European position. Currently eight points clear of their closest challengers , although Derry City have a game in hand on them, Sligo will feel confident that they have done enough to play in Europe next season.

Shelbourne suffered a 3-0 home defeat against relegation rivals Bohemians last week. That defeat leaves the Dublin side rock bottom, five points from safety. Manager Johnny McDonnell and his players know that if they lose one more game, it will be first division football for the club next season.

Prediction: Home win

Shamrock Rovers –v- Drogheda United    8:00 (Friday)

Fifth take on seventh here as Shamrock Rovers take on Drogheda United at Tallaght Stadium.

After the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Limerick on Tuesday , Shamrock Rovers will be looking for a win here. Though they have nothing to play for other than pride Trevor Croly and his players will be looking to finish the season on a high, especially at home. Winning their remaining fixtures and preparing for the FAI Cup semi-final is Rovers main focus, having beaten the Drogs in the League Cup Final last weekend.

Like their opponents Drogheda United also suffered a defeat on Tuesday. The 3-2 home defeat against Cork City loss has left the Louth side sitting in seventh position with nothing left to play for in the league. The FAI Cup is now their main focus and players will be using league fixtures to play for places if they make it to the final.

Prediction: Home win

Image courtesy of Bohemianfc.com

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