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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 29 October 2020

It's Friday so here's all your League of Ireland, Premier Division team news

Roddy, Stephen Kenny, the Rebel Army. The gang’s all here.

St. Patrick's Athletic's Ger O'Brien.
St. Patrick's Athletic's Ger O'Brien.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

St Patrick’s Athletic v Shamrock Rovers, (7.05pm).*

Another Friday night, another Dublin derby. And the Saints versus Rovers could be tasty.

“Rovers and Sligo will be the top two to beat this year,” warns  Pat’s boss Liam Buckley.  “If you mix it in with them, you have a chance. It’ll be interesting to see where we are in our development.  We need to turn our performances into results, so if we can start on Friday it’ll be great.”

The champions are as yet unbeaten of course and travel to Richmond Park in a confident mood.

“We’ve shown we have a tremendous capacity to win games, especially late on, and that gives us confidence ahead of the game,” says Tallaght boss Stephen Kenny.

“Inchicore is a difficult place to go, but we hold no fear of anyone. Pat’s will take the game to us, and I expect them to attack from the off, but we will do likewise. It has all the makings of a very good game.”

Former Hoops attacker Dean Kelly returns from suspension for the Hoops but defender Aidan Price remains out through injury. Ciaran Kilduff (broken metatarsal), Conor Winn (back) and Stephen O’Donnell (knee cartilage) are remain on Rovers’ injury list.  Gary McCabe and Conor Powell return to the squad after their recent suspensions.

* we’ll be there to liveblog the action.

Bohemians  v Cork City

Two of the league’s traditional heavyweights meet at Dalymount Park — but this is far from a top-of-the-table clash.

The Rebel Army still await their first victory since their return to the top flight while the Gypsies are fighting for their first goal.

“Something has to give in this game,” Cork City boss Tommy Dunne says, “either Bohs will score or we will keep a clean sheet. I watched their game with Shamrock Rovers and I thought they did quite well. They have a young team, but they looked very solid at the back and it took a moment of magic to break the deadlock.”

The Leesiders continue without injured trio Stephen Mulcahy, Kevin Murray and Neal Horgan while John Dunleavy (flu) and Tadhg Purcell (ankle) are doubts. Bohs winger Dwayne Wilson (family commitment) is out but flu victims Luke Byrne, Andy Mulligan and Keith Murray all return.

“We are rebuilding,” Bohs boss Aaron Callaghan said this week, “we are developing a team system and that takes time. We have had a run of games against the teams that are most likely to finish towards the top of the table.”

Bray Wanderers v Sligo Rovers

Bray held the aforementioned Rebels at Turner’s Cross last week but they’ll face one of the division’s best sides in Sligo tonight. The Seagulls are still without Adam Mitchell (head injury), Shane O’Connor (groin) and suspended Dane Massey. Sligo’s Jason McGuinness is a doubt with a back problem. Mark Quigley is suspended but Pascal Millien is available after receiving a work permit.

Bray Wanderers director of football Pat Devlin said: “We have a tough week ahead, playing three games in 10 days – it will be a real test of our squad. Sligo are always a tough side to beat as our history against them will show.”

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Sligo Rovers boss Ian Baraclough meanwhile reckons his panel are ready to go:

“The competition to get into the starting line-up is good and there are disappointed players when the starting XI is disclosed and that is a good thing. They all want to be involved.  We’ve looked solid in away games so far and competitive. I’ve been happy with the approach and we want to continue it in the Carlisle Grounds,” he said.

Derry City v UCD

“The lads know that I will be looking for a good response against UCD and that we can’t afford to go out onto the pitch giving anything less than 100%,” Derry City manager Declan Devine warned this week.

The Candystripes lost 3-2 at home to Roddy Collins’ Monaghan last time out. They’ll have to face the Students  without Stewart Greacen (knee) and Mark Farren (foot) through injury while Barry Molloy is suspended.

“The most important thing for me is that we concentrate on our own game and get that right and if we are successful in this we can win the game and keep our home record intact,” Devine adds.

UCD have Samir Belhout and Gary Burke back in contention but Ger Barron and Paul Corry remain out with foot injuries. James Kavanagh is a doubt with a hip flexor problem.

“We will go to the Brandywell knowing that they will be trying to bounce back from their Drogheda defeat, we have to go there in a positive manner and play our game, and try impose ourselves on it, as always we will be asking the lads to show us what they can do,” UCD manager Martin Russell said yesterday.

Dundalk v Shelbourne, Oriel Park.

Both sides will look to get back to winning ways at Hunky Dory Park tonight. The home side were well beaten in Sligo last time out and Shels were were by Shamrock Rovers and  drew with St Patrick’s Athletic.

Shelbourne have striker Paul Byrne back from an ankle injury while manager Alan Mathews was pleased with his side’s work ethic last time out:

“We didn’t play particularly well last week but we showed a different side to our team – great character, good resilience and dug out a good point in the end against a very good St Pat’s team. I was happy with it,” he said earlier this week.

Monaghan United v Drogheda United

Mick Cooke returns to Gortakeegan for the first time  since stepping down to take over at Drogheda United at the beginning of the 2011 season.

“I am looking forward to going back to Gortakeegan and I’m delighted that’s in the Premier Division,” said Cooke. “I am expecting a tough game for sure, they might not have a win under their belt yet, but they have gone close and it’s only a matter of time.”

Monaghan have a couple of injury concerns with Robert Bayly suffering a knock against UCD but Paul Whelan returns. Drogheda’s Cathal Brady is out of Friday’s game along with Paul Crowley.

“From the start of the season we have made progress in each game and I believe we are now in the position to start collecting the points that have been narrowly denied us so far,” said Roddy Collins.

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