LOI: Seagulls Must Win Crucial Relegation Six Pointer


Athlone Town –v- Cork City    7:45

Relegation battling Athlone Town play title chasing Cork City at the Athlone Town Stadium.

The 1-1 draw with UCD last time out was a huge blow to Athlone’s survival chances. Instead of closing the gap to two points, it has now become five. Athlone’s best chance for survival seems to have gone. They face a tough challenge here against a team with as much to win as Athlone have to lose. If they are to have any chance at survival, defeat must be avoided at all costs.

Like their opponents Cork had a disappointing week. The 1-1 draw with Bray Wanderers has left the rebel army four points adrift of league leaders Dundalk. Cork will be determined to get back on track and quickly. A win here against the league’s bottom side would be the perfect place to start.

Prediction: Away win

Bray Wanderers –v- UCD    7:45

A relegation six pointer here as Bray Wanderers host UCD at the Carlisle Grounds.

Bray enter their most crucial game of the season on the back of an excellent 1-1 draw with Cork City. The Wicklow side will fancy their chances and feel they have to momentum to win the game that may just help them avoid relegation. Lose and Alan Matthews may be preparing his side for first division football next year.

UCD missed out on getting out of the relegation battle last week, they have a second chance here to put some distance between them and the sides below them. The students tend to struggle when away from home, so will need to be on top form if they are to stand any chance of walking out of this game with a favourable result.

Prediction: Draw

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

In form Derry City host St Patrick’s Athletic at the Brandywell Stadium.

Goals from Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy, Philip Lowry and Ryan Curran gave Derry City an emphatic 4-0 away win over Limerick on Monday. This win keeps them sixth and still in with a chance for a fifth placed finish. Though with one eye on the FAI Cup, the Candystripes will still attempt to finish as high as possible.

The 1-0 home defeat against Limerick last week ended St Patrick’s Athletic’ title chances for this season. The eleven point gap has become insurmountable at this stage of the campaign. A place in Europe is still achievable however and something Liam Buckley and his side will strive for. Lose and they give Shamrock Rovers the advantage.

Prediction: Draw

Dundalk –v- Bohemians    7:45

League leaders Dundalk take on Bohemians at Oriel Park.

A solitary David McMillan goal was enough to earn Dundalk a 1-1 draw with Sligo Rovers last week. That result keeps Dundalk top of the league and four points clear. The finish line is getting closer, whether Dundalk have to bottle to keep going will become clear for all to see over the coming weeks. If they lose here, then we are in for a nervy finish.

Bohemians have not played in the league since Karl Moore and Jason Byrne gave them a 2-1 win over Drogheda United on August 15th. They face a much tougher fixture away to the league leaders and will have to be at their very best to get a win. Bohs will take comfort in the fact that they are safe for another season and are just playing for pride.

Prediction: Home win

Limerick –v- Drogheda United    7:45

A mid-table clash here as seventh placed Limerick play ninth placed Drogheda United at Thomond Park.

A goal from Rory Gaffney gave Limerick an excellent 1-0 away win over St Patrick’s Athletic last week. That win continues their fine away form, it’s when they play at home that Limerick seem to struggle. Though this trend will have no major effects this season, it is something that Martin Russell will need to correct for next season or it could create major problems.

A solitary Cathal Brady goal gave Drogheda United a 1-0 win over Derry City last week and assured their safety in the league for another season. Drogheda will now work towards improving themselves and prepare to really challenge for things next season.

Prediction: Away win

Shamrock Rovers –v- Sligo Rovers    8:00

Chasing a European place, Shamrock Rovers play Sligo Rovers at Tallaght Stadium.

Having not played in the league since the 1-1 draw with Athlone, Shamrock Rovers will look to re-establish their European ambitions by taking all three points here. A win here could allow them to leap frog St Pats into the Europa League Position. Lose and Rovers season could end with them achieving nothing.

After the 1-1 draw with Dundalk last week, Sligo enter this game full of confidence in their ability to get a result. Though having nothing to play for manager John Coleman will have learned a great deal about side’s capabilities of lack thereof and will know what needs to be done to put Sligo back in contention for the league next year.

Prediction: Draw

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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