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Champions in Markets Field for McDonald's first game in charge

New Limerick manager Neil McDonald faces a tough opening game as they welcome Stephen Kenny’s champions to the Markets Field.

Image: EMPICS Sport

NEIL MCDONALD WILL face a tough test in his first game in charge of Limerick tonight (KO 19.45).

Champions Dundalk make the trip West aiming to further bridge the gap at the top between themselves and Cork City following the Rebels’ surprise 1-1 draw with Galway United last Friday, which ended their winning streak at 12 games.

51-year-old McDonald worked alongside current Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce while the pair were at Blackburn, Bolton and West Ham, with Allardyce himself managing Limerick to a First Division title during a spell in charge way back in 1991-92.

McDonald enjoyed success as a player for both Everton and Newcastle before embarking on a career in management which has seen him take charge of Carlisle and Blackpool, as well as act as assistant to Mike Phelan at Hull City earlier this season.

Limerick will welcome a Dundalk side keen to make up considerable lost ground in the race for the Premier Division title. Stephen Kenny’s men have lost five of their opening 13 games this season and are currently 13 points behind league leaders City.

The Lilywhites got back to winning ways last weekend with a 4-0 drubbing of Sligo Rovers thanks to a Jamie McGrath hat-trick alongside an injury time Niclas Vemmelund strike.

Kenny will remain without Steven Kinsella while defender Brian Gartland is a doubt with a nerve injury, with Shane Grimes and Sean Gannon both returning this week. Chris Shields and Niclas Vemmelund have both been nursing groin injuries but will be fit to play against Limerick later today.

Limerick, meanwhile, have maintained a strong showing under interim manager Willie Boland following the dismissal of Martin Russell last month. The Blues currently sit just three places below Dundalk in the table in sixth place.

Despite this they remain without a Premier Division victory since 15 April and have drawn four of their last six league games, losing the other two.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division Bray Wanderers will be looking to maintain their grip on second spot when they host Bohemians at the Carlisle Grounds. Bohs dropped back into the relegation zone following a 2-0 Dublin derby beating last Friday.

Shamrock Rovers will be looking to build on that win with a tough trip to MaGinn Park. Manager Stephen Bradley last week explained that his side’s next goal was to overtake the Candystripes in third place, as they search for a European place.

Cork City host Drogheda looking to get back to winning ways after their 12 game winning streak ended in Eamon Deacy Park last week. While St. Pat’s host Sligo Rovers aiming to move further away from the bottom three by building on last week’s 2-0 victory against Drogheda.

Predictions

Every week, we’re giving readers the chance to take us on in predicting the Premier Division results. After Week 12, here are the standings:

The Readers: 42
The42: 39

Next up is Shamrock Rovers fan Luke Jennings

Cork City V Drogheda United – Cork Win
Galway United V Finn Harps – Draw
Derry City V Shamrock Rovers – Shamrock Rovers Win
St Pats V Sligo Rovers – St Pats Win
Limerick V Dundalk – Dundalk Win
Bray Wanderers V Bohs – Bray Win

The42 (Aaron Gallagher)

Cork City V Drogheda United – Cork Win
Galway United V Finn Harps – Galway Win
Derry City V Shamrock Rovers – Draw
St Pats V Sligo Rovers – St Pats Win
Limerick V Dundalk – Dundalk Win
Bray Wanderers V Bohs – Bray Win

If you’d like to try your hand at forecasting League of Ireland results, get in touch by e-mailing pauldollery@the42.ie

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