LOI: Battle Of The Rovers As Roddy Aims To Defeat Champs


Shamrock Rovers –v- Sligo Rovers    7:05

Early league leaders Shamrock Rovers host fellow title hopefuls Sligo Rovers at Tallaght Stadium.

Goals from Gary McCabe, Ronan Finn and Kieran Marty Waters gave the hoops an impressive 3-1 away win over fierce Dublin rivals Bohemians last week. That win established them as early league leaders, a position that will leave manager Trevor Croly pleased. They face a Sligo Rovers side in poor form and Croly and his players will look for all three points as well as a psychological advantage.

Three games, one win and two defeats, it’s not how Sligo Rovers envisioned starting their season. Ian Baraclough and his players will be determined to get a result here and try to build a little momentum as well. Tallaght Stadium has always been a tough place to go, but Sligo have the experience and the ability to get a result.

Prediction: Draw

Athlone Town –v- Cork City    7:45 

Bottom side Athlone Town take on the early season in form side Cork City at Athlone Town Stadium.

It has not been going well for Athlone Town. Three games, three defeats, it has been a nightmare start for the newly promoted side. Mick Cooke and his side will be in desperate need of some points on the board. If they fail to do so, then they may never get out of the rut they find themselves in.

Cork City have been the surprise package of the season so far with two wins and a draw in their opening three games. John Kavanagh, Billy Dennehy and Garry Buckley gave Cork a 3-1 win over Bray Wanderers last week. John Caulfield and his side will look to continue their fine run of form in a game they can and probably should win.

Prediction: Away win

Bray Wanderers –v- UCD    7:45 

Two of last season’s relegation battlers face off here as Bray Wanderers take on UCD at the Carlisle Grounds.

It has been an inconsistent start to the season for Bray Wanderers. In their opening three games they have registered a win, draw and defeat. They will be looking to land all three points against notoriously slow starters UCD. Manager Alan Matthews and his side are not looking for a repeat of last season’s relegation battle and the key to that is to be able to beat the teams around you.

Goals from Robbie Creevy and Ayman Ben Mohamed gave UCD their first points of the season in a 2-1 victory over Athlone Town last time out. The Students will look to build on that with a win here but with their current form may prove difficult. Aaron Callaghan and his players will be determined to get the win and avoid a relegation battle at all costs.

Prediction: Home win

Derry City –v- St Patrick’s Athletic    7:45 

Two potential title contenders face off here as Derry City host St Patrick’s Athletic at the Brandywell Stadium.

Still looking for their first win of the season Derry City will be looking to take advantage of their opponents inconsistent form. The northern side have been struggling so far but manager Roddy Collins will no doubt be preaching the virtue of patience, his experience could no doubt be an important factor in any title challenge Derry may have.

A 1-1 home draw with Limerick last week would have come as a surprise to the league champions. Much like last season their early form has been inconsistent and occasionally sloppy. Liam Buckley and his side will look to gain some consistency and momentum with a win here. It may just be finally dawning on St Pats that retaining a title is much harder than winning one.

Prediction: Away win

Dundalk –v- Bohemian FC    7:45 

Title chasing Dundalk play host to Bohemians at Oriel Park.

A 90th minute winner from Dane Massey gave Dundalk an excellent 1-0 away win over title rivals Sligo Rovers last week. The Louth side have bounced back wonderfully after their opening day defeat to Drogheda. Stephen Kenny and his players seem to be determined to go the extra step that they were incapable of taking last season and winning the league outright.

A 3-1 defeat last week against Shamrock Rovers leaves Bohemians mid-table. Having won, lost and drawn their first three games of the season, Bohs will be looking for more consistency in their performances and results. They face extremely tough opposition here and will need to be at their best to get a positive result.

Prediction: Home win

Limerick –v- Drogheda United    7:45

Limerick play host to potential title challengers Drogheda United at Thomond Park.

Stuart Taylor and his side will be extremely pleased with their 1-1 draw away to St Patrick’s Athletic last week. Despite that result Limerick are still looking for their first win of the season. They face a tough task here but their home form has always been good and they are more than capable of getting a result.

Drogheda United will be disappointed that they have failed to fully take advantage of their opening day victory over Dundalk. Though they have yet to lose a game, momentum has been lost and now Robbie Horgan and his side have to start building it up again, preferably with a win here.

Prediction: Away win

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



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