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LOI: Reigning Champs Seek To Dent Dundalk’s Title Tilt

irishfootball

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

St Patrick’s Athletic play host to league leaders Dundalk at Richmond Park.

A solitary goal from Aaron Greene gave St Patrick’s Athletic a 1-0 win over Derry City last week. That win keeps their European ambitions alive and with the FAI Cup still up for grabs, this season is far from over for the Dublin side. The reigning champions face extremely tough opposition in the form of Dundalk but St Pats are capable of beating anyone on their day and may just pull off an upset.

Dundalk took a huge step towards their first league title since 1995 by beating Bohemians 3-2 last week. That puts them six points clear with seven games remaining. It’s now Dundalk’s league to throw away, something Stephen Kenny and his side will be determined to avoid. Another three points here and all the pressure is on Cork who they play in the final game.

Prediction: Away win

Bohemians –v- Bray Wanderers    7:45

Bohemians play relegation threatened Bray Wanderers at Dalymount Park.

Despite the 3-2 defeat to Dundalk last week, Bohemians will still be relatively comfortable with their league position of ninth. They currently have 28 points, one more win would have secured their safety in past seasons. They may not get that win here, but with six games to go the Dublin side will feel confident that they will be playing Airtricity League football next season.

Goals from Ismahil Akinade and Jake Kelly gave Bray Wanderers a crucial win over UCD last week. That win puts them three points ahead of UCD and out of the relegation zone. The Wicklow side are by no means safe but will feel much more confident about their survival hopes than they did a week ago.

Prediction: Draw

Cork City –v- Shamrock Rovers    7:45

Title chasing Cork City play European hopefuls Shamrock Rovers at Turner’s Cross.

Cork City would have been extremely disappointed with their result last week. The 2-2 draw with Athlone Town has left them six points behind Dundalk in the race for the league. Simply put Cork cannot afford to drop anymore points or the league will be over. If they can close the gap to two or three points then they may just pip Dundalk to the league on the final day of the season.

A solitary Simon Madden goal gave Shamrock rovers a 1-0 win over Sligo Rovers last week. That result keeps the Dublin side in contention for a Europa League place next season. A win here coupled with St Pats losing to Dundalk could lift Rovers into third and into the aforementioned European place.

Prediction: Home win

Derry City –v- Sligo Rovers    7:45

A mid-table clash here, as Derry City play Sligo Rovers at the Brandywell Stadium.

Despite having no major impact on their season, the 1-0 home defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic would have come as a disappointment for Derry City. They have another home game here and will be determined to achieve a much better result and hopefully leapfrog their opponents in the table while they’re at it.

Like their opponents Sligo will have been disappointed to lose 1-0 to Shamrock Rovers. A win here will cement their fifth placed position going into the final games. And though they have nothing to play for apart from pride, John Coleman and his side will still be determined to finish as high as they can.

Prediction: Draw

Drogheda United –v- Athlone Town    7:45

Drogheda United play relegation battling Athlone Town at Hunky Dorys Park.

Goals from Michael Daly, Gavan Holohan and Cathal Brady gave Drogheda United an impressive 3-0 away over Limerick last week. That win lifted them to seventh and helped establish some comfort in mid-table. Drogheda may not have challenged for the league as they would have wished but will be relatively pleased with a mid-table finish.

The 2-2 with Cork City last week although impressive, did Athlone Town no favours. Having both Bray and UCD play each other could have allowed them to close the gap to two points instead of four as it stands now. Athlone will now place their hope in UCD dropping enough points so they can overtake them and put themselves into a relegation play-off.

Prediction: Home win

UCD –v- Limerick    7:45

Relegation threatened UCD face Limerick at the UCD Bowl.

A 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bray Wanderers last week has left UCD stuck in the relegation play-off position. UCD need points on the board and fast. A win here would be a step in the right direction, lose and the may be facing automatic relegation, something Aaron Callaghan and his players will be determined to avoid.

The 3-0 home defeat to Drogheda United last week would be been disappointing yet not surprising for Limerick. For most of this season they have been much more impressive away from home and their results show it. They will be confident of another away win against a woefully out of form side and will more than likely get it.

Prediction: Away win

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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