All games kick off at 7.45pm unless stated
Derry City v Bohemians, Brandywell
Derry will be hoping to end a poor run of form this evening, which has seen them fail to win their last three games.
Bohemians, meanwhile, will be looking to recover after an unlucky loss to Drogheda United last week.
Speaking ahead of the game, the hosts’ manager, Declan Devine, said: “Bohemians have players who can hurt us and they are a physically big side, but we want to take some good form into our important FAI Cup game with UCD next week.”
In addition, Bohs boss Aaron Callaghan added: “They have been missing strong, experienced players through the middle of the team and they haven’t had the continuity they needed. But they’re always a strong side, and always a difficult side to play against in the Brandywell. They have beaten us twice this season but on both occasions they were close matches.”
Stewart Greacen returns for Derry, though Stephen McLaughlin, Ruaidhri Higgins, Patrick McEleney and Rory Patterson remain absent. For Bohs, Dave Scully and Karl Moore are suspended although Dave Mulcahy is available again. New signing Ken Carr is in the squad, but Kevin Feely is doubtful with a knee injury.
Referee: Neil Doyle
St Patrick’s Athletic v Bray Wanderers, Richmond Park
St Patrick’s Athletics bid to keep their feint title hopes alive against Bray Wanderers tonight. Earlier in the season, the game between these two sides ended in a 3-3 draw, so mutual fans will be hoping for an equally entertaining game.
St Pat’s boss Liam Buckley is hoping his side can prevail this time around.
“If the last game between the sides is anything to go by, the crowd are set for an exciting game. Hopefully this time though, it’ll be a game we finish on the right side of. Bray always produce a performance in Inchicore so we know that it will be a tricky game.”
Meanwhile, Bray Wanderers Director of Football Pat Devlin is expecting a similarly entertaining game as it was the last time the two sides met.
“I’m hoping we can improve that aspect of our game against St Pat’s who have had a great season so far. The games between us have always been entertaining and we are looking forward to it.”
Jack Carroll is back from suspension for St Pat’s, and John Russell faces a late fitness to ascertain whether he has sufficiently recovered from a knee injury, though Stephen O’Flynn (ribs) and Dean Kelly (groin) are still both out. Bray, on the other hand, have a full side to choose from.
Referee: Padraigh Sutton
UCD v Cork City, UCD Bowl
(Neal Horgan is a doubt for tonight’s game – INPHO/James Crombie)
UCD will be hoping they can keep up the momentum gained from last week’s surprise defeat of Shelbourne. It was UCD’s first win in eight games, while their opponents have drawn eight of their last 11 fixtures.
UCD manager Martin Russell recognises Cork are likely to be tough opponents: “Cork are proving hard to beat to all, but we received a boost last week that we are determined to build on.”
Cork City boss Tommy Dunne acknowledges that his side need to pick up more wins than they have been registering of late.
“It is an important game for us and one we have to try to get a positive result from. As was proved on the opening day of the season, it is a difficult place to go, so we know it will be tough for us. Our performances in recent weeks have been quite good, but we have not been getting the results we need, so we will be going up there looking to get the three points.”
The Students have a lengthy injury list, with John Kelly, Graham Rusk, Chris Mulhall, Tom O’Halloran, Cillian Morrison and Samir Belhout all absent for tomorrow’s game. In addition, Paul Corry is suspended, having received four yellow cards.
Cork also have their problems. Neal Horgan (knee) and Graham McCarthy (ankle) are rated as doubtful, while they will definitely be without Colin Healy (thigh), Cathal Lordan (knee), Eoghan Murphy (ankle) and Kevin Burns (ankle). Keigan Parker, however, is back from suspension.
Referee: Rob Rogers.
Drogheda United v Shamrock Rovers, Hunky Dorys Park (8.00pm)
Drogheda United will be hoping they can keep up their title challenge against Shamrock Rovers in tonight’s game, which is live on Setanta.
The hosts have been in fine form, winning seven of their last eight matches. Shamrock Rovers’ hopes of retaining the league title look effectively over, after they drew with Sligo, though Stephen Kenny’s side will be keen to make the most of what has been a disappointing season.
Drogheda manager Mick Cooke is fully aware of the game’s significance: “This is a must-win game for them, but it’s crucial for us. If we lose we are still a few points ahead of them in the table. Rovers are another team we haven’t beaten since 2007, like Bohemians last week, but this is something I won’t be concentrating on.”
His opposite number, Stephen Kenny, says he is happy with his side’s recent improvement. “Drogheda have done very well this year. I’d say Mick Cooke is definitely the manager of the year this season, things are going terrific for them. But from our point of view, we have been tight defensively lately and that is a good platform for us to win games from.”
Drogheda could be without Philip Hand, and Conor McMahon is out through suspension. And Aaron Greene (knee), Graham Gartland (back), Stephen O’Donnell (hamstring) and Pat Sullivan (ankle) are all doubts for Rovers.
Referee: Damien Hancock.
Shelbourne v Sligo Rovers, Tolka Park (8.00pm)
League leaders Sligo will be hoping to capitalise on Shelbourne’s poor recent form – the hosts have lost two of their last three league games, including a defeat against bottom-placed UCD.
Shelbourne will thus need to improve in order to secure a coveted UEFA Cup spot.
Sligo boss Ian Baraclough is taking nothing for granted ahead of the teams’ meeting: “We are expecting a hard game in Tolka Park. Between now and the end of the season, everyone is going to raise their game. There are teams challenging for the top honour, European football and to avoid relegation so there will be no easy games. We’ve had a couple of days to recover from what was a big night in Tallaght and Shelbourne will be wounded after defeat to UCD last week.”
Shelbourne have no injuries or suspensions to deal with, while Sligo welcome back David Cawley from suspension. Danny North is still out with a cruciate injury, Liam Buchanan is awaiting international clearance.
Referee: Paul Tuite
Airtricity League First Division (Friday, 7.45pm unless stated)
- SD Galway v Athlone Town
- Waterford United v Wexford Youths
- Longford Town v Mervue United (Saturday, 7.30pm)
- Finn Harps v Limerick (Saturday)