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LOI: Dundalk Aim To Consolidate Title Challenge

irishfootball

Bohemians –v- Dundalk 7:45

League leaders Dundalk travel to Dublin to face relegation threatened Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

Bohemians will have been pleased with the 0-0 draw last week against Shamrock Rovers. Despite that result Bohs are in tenth place and out of the relegation zone albeit only on goal difference. They face a tough task here, but Owen Heary and his side will be hoping that they have enough to pull off an upset.

Goals from Daryl Horgan, Kurtis Byrne and Patrick Hoban gave Dundalk a 3-0 victory over Sligo Rovers last week. That win sees the Louth side go top of the league with a two point margin. Stephen Kenny and his side will be determined to stretch that lead by taking all three points and making it difficult for their rivals to catch them.

Prediction: Away win

Cork City –v- Athlone Town 7:45

Title chasing Cork City take on bottom side Athlone Town at Turner’s Cross.

An own goal as well as a goal from Colin Healy gave Cork City a 2-0 win over Bray Wanderers last week. That win sees them sit second, two points off top spot. John Caulfield and his side will have been disappointed with their form in recent weeks and will hope that last week’s victory will start another good run that will take them closer to the summit.

Goals from Kealan Dillon and Sean Brennan gave Athlone Town a 2-0 victory over UCD last week. That win was Athlone Town’s first this season. Despite that victory Athlone still find themselves bottom of the league, but manager Keith Long and his side will be hoping that last week’s win will start a run of form that will lead them closer to safety.

Prediction: Home win

Drogheda United –v- Limerick 7:45

Eighth take on ninth here as Drogheda United host Limerick at Hunky Dorys Park.

The 2-0 defeat at the hands of Derry City last week has left Drogheda United sitting in eighth position. Drogheda’s main goal will be to put as many points on the board and get themselves away from the relegation zone as quickly as possible. Three points here will be the perfect start. The only question now is if they can get them.
Goals from Daniel Galbraith and Jason Hughes gave Limerick an impressive 2-0 victory over St Patrick’s Athletic last week. That win sees them ninth and much like their opponents Limerick’s main goal is to move themselves away from the relegation zone as quickly as possible. Lose here and they will be drawn into a fight they don’t want and one they may just lose.

Prediction: Draw

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

Title chasing St Patrick’s Athletic play Derry City at Richmond Park.

A 2-0 defeat last week against Limerick was a huge setback for St Patrick’s Athletic’s title ambitions. That win leaves them fourth, six points off the top and with a lot of ground to make up. Given the form of the teams above them Liam Buckley and his side know they cannot afford to make more mistakes. Their title hopes rely greatly on their form in the next few weeks. If they slip up then the league title will not be staying at Richmond Park.

Goals from Michael Duffy and Rory Patterson gave Derry City a 2-0 win over Drogheda United last week. That win leaves Derry sixth and they will be pleased with their form since the induction of manager Peter Hutton. Title ambitions may be beyond them this season, but European ambitions are not. Continue as they have been doing and it may just happen.

Prediction: Home win

UCD –v- Bray Wanderers 7:45

Relegation threatened UCD take on seventh placed Bray Wanderers at the UCD Bowl.

The 2-0 defeat against Athlone Town was a disaster for UCD. Instead of putting a fifteen point gap between them and the bottom side, that gap is now down to nine points. It is now about UCD reacting to such a defeat. Can they bounce back or will the gap become closer? UCD will be hoping for the former and will be determined to achieve it.

The 2-0 defeat against Cork City last week will have been disappointing but not unexpected for Bray Wanderers. They will be determined to get all three points here and climb into sixth position. Bray will be aiming for a European place, but a mid-table finish will be a huge improvement on previous seasons, where relegation beckoned.

Prediction: Draw

Sligo Rovers –v- Shamrock Rovers 8:00

Third placed Shamrock Rovers take on Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds.

The 3-0 defeat at the hands of Dundalk last week was a big setback for Sligo Rovers. Instead of cutting the gap to five points, it has now become eleven. All Sligo’s hard work to get themselves back into the title race will have to begin again. Ian Baraclough will need to work extremely hard to ensure his players don’t lose heart and continue their fine run of form prior to last week.

Like their opponents Shamrock Rovers will also have been disappointed with their result last week. Their 0-0 draw with Bohemians has seen them fall four points behind the league leaders. The Dublin side will look to get things back on track this week but face an uphill task and will need to be at their best to get anything out of this game.

Prediction: Home win

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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