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LOI: Top Of The Table Clash As Hoops Travel South

irishfootball

St Patrick’s Athletic –v- Dundalk    7:05 

Two title contenders face off here as St Patrick’s Athletic host Dundalk at Richmond Park.

It has not been a good start to the new season for St Patrick’s Athletic. Despite remaining undefeated, one win and three draws was not what would have been envisioned by the club. Liam Buckley and his side need three points from this game if only to gain some momentum on league leaders Shamrock Rovers. They face a tough task, but one that can be accomplished.

Despite the 1-1 draw with Bohemians last week Dundalk have bounced back well from their opening day defeat. The Louth side will look to take advantage of their opponents relatively poor from and get themselves at least a draw against the team that just beat them to the title last season.

Prediction: Home win

Bohemians –v- Bray Wanderers    7:45 

A mid table clash here as seventh placed Bohemians take on eight placed Bray Wanderers at Dalymount Park.

Bohemians registered and impressive 1-1 away draw with Dundalk last week. They will look to add to that result by taking all three points here. The Dublin side will be relatively pleased with their start and could consider it a foundation to a strong season, but need to remain focussed or any momentum they’ve gained could be lost.

Bray Wanderers will have been extremely disappointed with the 5-3 home defeat against UCD last week. Alan Matthews and his side will attempt to bounce back quickly with a strong result here. A bad result two weeks in a row could possibly pull Bray into a downward spiral that they may just struggle to get out of.

Prediction: Home win

Cork City –v- Shamrock Rovers    7:45 

Top of the table clash here as second placed Cork City host table toppers Shamrock Rovers at Turner’s Cross.

Goals from Mark O’Sullivan, Billy Dennehy and Liam Kearney gave Cork City a 3-0 away win against bottom side Athlone Town last week. Cork have been in impressive form in recent weeks with three wins in a row. They will look for a fourth here, a win that will take them to the top of the table.

A solitary Ryan Brennan goal gave Shamrock Rovers a 1-0 victory over Sligo Rovers last week. That win was their third in a row and like their opponents they will be looking for their fourth and cementing their position at the top. Trevor Croly and his side face difficult opposition here but winning games like these is what wins leagues.

Prediction: Draw

Derry City –v- Sligo Rovers    7:45 

Two misfiring teams face off here as Derry City play Sligo Rovers at the Brandywell Stadium.

Still looking for their first win of the season, Derry head into this game on the back of three draws and a defeat. With only two goals scored it’s clear to see where their problems lie. If the Candystripes do not improve their goal scoring touch, they could be in for a long hard season. A win here is absolutely crucial.

With one win and three defeats so far this season, Sligo Rovers need a big turnaround. Currently sitting third from bottom it has been far from an ideal start for Ian Baraclough and his men. If Sligo do not get points on the board and quickly, then not only will Sligo have no chance of contending for the league title, but may well find themselves in a relegation battle they would wish to avoid.

Prediction: Home win

Drogheda United –v- Athlone Town    7:45 

Third placed Drogheda United take on bottom side Athlone Town at Hunky Dorys Park.

A goal from Declan O’Brien gave Drogheda their second win of the season in a 1-0 victory over Limerick last time out. That result leaves Drogheda third and well in contention for the league title. The Louth side will look to add and most likely will add another three points against a poor Athlone Town side.

Athlone Town are still looking for their first points of the season and will be desperate for a result here. Coming into this game on the back of four straight defeats is far from ideal preparation. One advantage they do have is former Drogheda manager Mick Cooke, who would no better than anyone how to get a result against his former team.

Prediction: Home win

UCD –v- Limerick    7:45 

An in form UCD side take on an out of form Limerick side at the UCD Bowl.

Goals from Mark Langtry, Dean Clarke and a hat trick from Cillian Morrison gave UCD an excellent 5-3 away win over Bray Wanderers last week. That win was UCD’s second in a row and puts them in sixth place, four points off the top. Aaron Callaghan and his side will be looking for their third straight win and given their form it’s likely they could get it.

A 1-0 defeat against Drogheda United leaves Limerick second from bottom and still looking for their first win. Stuart Taylor and his players will be determined to get that win here and avoid any chance of suffering from second season syndrome. Lose and they may just face the inevitable relegation battle.

Prediction: Home win

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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