INPHO/Morgan Treacy Saints trio Greg Bolger, Shane McFaul and Christy Fagan.
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5 things to look out for in this weekend’s Airtricity League
After the mid-season break, the Premier Division and First Division clubs return to action tonight.

1. Saints looking to bounce back

Having gone on a run of 13 games unbeaten which took them to the top of the league table, St Patrick’s Athletics were undone by Dundalk on the final game before the break.  Liam Buckley’s side hadn’t conceded in five league games when they travelled to Oriel Park two weeks ago but allowed John Sullivan to score in the 83rd minute for 2-1 loss.

They welcome an in-form Bray Wanderers side, up to ninth in the table, to Inchicore tonight and Buckley believes the time off to recharge the batteries will bode well for his men.

“Yeah the break was good to give some of our lads time off and the squad is all back in training now and look rested and ready to go again. We’ll need to be at it on Friday as Bray will be tough opponents.”

2. Sligo have lost ground to make up

After the excitement of  getting drawn with Ole Gunnar Solsjaer’s Molde for their first ever outing in the Champions League, Sligo Rovers must get back to focusing on the domestic front where their aim is to reclaim top spot.

The Bit O’Red started the new campaign like a house on fire with the Anthony Elding storming to the top of the goalscorers charts in the opening six weeks. However, Ian Baraclough’s side are now five points adrift of St Pat’s in third place. On the plus side, they only had one point more at this stage last season so it is still all to play for if they can rediscover that winning formula.

First up, it’s Shelbourne at Tolka Park.

3. Derry and Bohs clash twice in four days

Another team involved in a European draw this week are Derry, who have been rewarded for their FAI Cup win with a tough trip to Turkey to take on Trabzonspor. At domestic level, the Candystripes host Bohemians at the Brandywell this evening before paying a visit to Dalymount on Monday for a league cup quarter-final.

The last time the pair met, Bohs were on the receiving end of a 4-0 drubbing thanks to goals from Patrick McEleney, Michael Rafter, Ryan McBride and Barry McNamee. They will have to find goals with the Premier Divsion’s leading scorer Rorry Patterson, however, as he is ruled out through suspension.

4. Hoops aim to grind out more wins

Since losing 2-0 to UCD at the end of April, Shamrock Rovers have quietly gone on a run of ten games unbeaten in all competitions. With the exception of the 7-1 thrashing they handed out to tonight’s opponents Drogheda United in the Setanta Sports Cup final, all their victories have be either a one or two goal margain. It may not be spectacular, but they are getting the job done and manager Trevor Croly wants it to continue.

We had a few days off,” Croly told “The rest has re-energised everyone. We were playing well and winning games going into the break so to a point we would almost have liked to have played on.

“But it is always healthy to have that little period of rest if you can.”

5. Horgan gains international fame

After scoring in Cork’s last outing (a 1-0 win over Drogheda United), winger Daryl Horgan has gone global. The 20-year-old struck a contender for goal of the season against the Drogs and his talent was recognised by a number of European media outlets including La Repubblica and Marca.

YouTube credit: UnitedParkDrogheda

Premier Division

(7.45pm unless stated)

  • Derry v Bohemians
  • Drogheda v Shamrock Rovers
  • St Pat’s v Bray
  • UCD v Cork
  • Shelbourne v Sligo (8pm)
  • Limerick v Dundalk (Saturday, 7.45pm)

First Division

  • Satlhill v Longford
  • Waterford v Finn Harps
  • Athlone v Mervue
  • Cobh Ramblers v Wexford Youths (Saturday, 7.45pm)

Here’s a GIF of Neymar’s spectacular dive from last night

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