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LOI: Dundalk Face Tricky Test Against Ever Improving Cork City

irishfootball

Athlone Town –v- Bray Wanderers 7:45

Bottom side Athlone Town face off against Bray Wanderers at Athlone Town Stadium.

Ten games and ten defeats. It has been a thoroughly miserable time to be an Athlone Town fan. So miserable that changes have been made and Mick Cooke has left the club and Keith Long has been brought in. It remains to be seen if this change of managers will have an effect on the results but things certainly don’t look good. Athlone can take comfort in the fact that it can’t get any worse.

A solitary David Scully goal gave Bray Wanderers an impressive 1-0 home win over title chasing Dundalk last time out. That win leaves them sitting in a comfortable seventh. The Wicklow side will need to be weary of their opponents given their new manager’s first game. Alan Matthews will need to ensure his players head into this game prepared to play against a revitalised team or they may end up on the losing side.

Prediction: Home win

Bohemians –v- Derry City 7:45

Bohemians play host to title hopefuls Derry City at Dalymount Park.

Bohemians will be extremely pleased with their 1-1 draw with league leaders Cork City last week. That draw leaves them tenth, only two points above a relegation place, but Bohs will consider themselves more than capable of getting themselves out of it. They will believe they have enough to get a result against an inconsistent Derry side, and who can argue against it.

Unlike their opponents, Derry City will be disappointed with their result last week. The 1-1 draw with UCD was another dent in their title hopes, which are now rapidly fading. Derry cannot allow another slip up here. If they are to put themselves back into the title race only three points are acceptable, anything less than that and they may find themselves sitting comfortably in mid-table.

Prediction: Draw

UCD –v- Drogheda United 7:45

Relegation battling UCD take on Drogheda United at the UCD Bowl.

UCD would have been happy with their 1-1 draw with Derry City last week. The result however still leaves them in the relegation zone. With plenty of games still to play it is far from time to panic, but UCD will want to avoid what occurred in the last two seasons, where they left it late and only avoided relegation in the dying stages of the season.

After suffering a 3-2 home defeat against Shamrock Rovers last week, Drogheda United will look to bounce back and quickly. They will see this game as an opportunity to put three points on the board and move themselves up the table. Drogheda are more than capable of challenging for the league, even now, they cannot afford to drop points as carelessly as they have.

Prediction: Away win

Dundalk –v- Cork City 7:45

Two title contenders face off here as Dundalk play Cork City at Oriel Park.

After suffering a setback in a 1-0 defeat against Bray Wanderers last week, Dundalk now face their toughest game of the season. A win here would see them overtake their opponents, lose and they would fall four points behind which could become seven as Cork have a game in hand. Because of that Dundalk cannot afford to lose, if they do they may never catch up.

Like their opponents Cork City also dropped points last week in the 1-1 draw with Bohemians. Cork will head into this game determined to damage Dundalk’s title ambitions by coming away with a win. If they lose they could hand the advantage in the title race to Dundalk despite having a game in hand.

Prediction: Draw

Shamrock Rovers –v- Limerick 8:00

Title challengers Shamrock Rovers play host to Limerick at Tallaght Stadium.

Goals from Ronan Finn, Eamon Zayed and Ciaran Killduff gave Shamrock Rovers a 3-2 away win over Drogheda United last time out. Given that their four main title rivals are facing each other this week Rovers will accept nothing other than a win. Given their home form and their opponent’s away form, a win for the hoops can be expected.

The 3-0 home defeat against Sligo Rovers has left Limerick drift ever so perilously towards the relegation zone. Stuart Taylor and his side will need to turn things around quickly if they are to avoid second season syndrome and the inevitable relegation dogfight that comes with it.

Prediction: Home win

Sligo Rovers –v- St Patrick’s Athletic 7:45

Two title rivals go head to head as Sligo Rovers face St Patrick’s Athletic at the Showground’s.

Goals from Paul O’Connor, Aaron Greene and Seamus Conneelly gave Sligo Rovers all three points in a 3-0 win over Limerick last week. That win has aided Sligo’s resurgence and put them back into contention for the league. A win here will put them right back into the mix and given their form as of late it is not out of the realm of possibility that they will get it.

Goals from James Chambers, Lee Lynch and a brace from the league’s top scorer Christy Fagan gave St Patrick’s Athletic another three points in a 4-0 win over Athlone Town last time out. That win put them joint top and if the wish to stay top they cannot afford to slip up especially in games such as these against title rivals. Three points are a must for Liam Buckley and his men.

Prediction: Away win

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