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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 20 December, 2014

5 reasons to watch the League of Ireland this weekend

Dundalk are the great entertainers, Stuart Taylor is back at his old stomping ground and there’s a ‘Rovers derby’ on Sunday.

Dundalk take on Bohemians tonight.
Dundalk take on Bohemians tonight.
Image: Lorcan Doherty

1.  Can Dundalk be stopped?

HAVING BRUSHED ASIDE Cork City, Sligo Rovers and Louth rivals Drogheda in recent weeks, Premier Division leaders Dundalk are the league’s in-form side.

The Lilywhites are not simply winning games, they are doing so playing an exhilarating, free-scoring brand of football – notching 16 times and conceding just once in their last four league matches.

They visit Dalymount Park tonight with Bohemians, level on points with second-from-bottom UCD, looking to build on last Friday’s 0-0 draw with Shamrock Rovers.

2. Hutton brings the buzz back

After picking up a confidence-boosting win over Drogheda United last Friday, Derry City make the trip to Richmond Park in search of their first away win of the season.

And ahead of the meeting with reigning champions St Patrick’s Athletic, Candystripes boss Peter Hutton says he has been delighted with the players’ response since taking over from Roddy Collins.

After last weekend’s performance and result against Drogheda United the lads have been really buzzing in training all week,” Hutton told the club’s website.

“Over the last couple of weeks we have seen a massive difference in our football and positivity in the camp and the whole squad are enjoying themselves and we hope this can follow us onto the pitch.”

3. Cork look to keep up winning run

It may have taken them 14 attempts but Athlone Town finally earned their first league win 2014 on Friday — beating UCD 2-0.

Credit is due to recently-appointed boss Keith Long for lifting morale after the departure of Mick Cooke but he will be aware that a trip to Turner’s Cross is a daunting prospect.

Second-placed Cork are on a three-game winning run and, having received huge support from fans at home so far this season, John Caulfield has called for another big turn-out at the Cross tonight.

“After having fantastic crowds so far this season, the numbers were down for our last home game against Derry, albeit that the atmosphere was very good.

“I just hope, given we have three wins in the space of a week, that people make a huge effort to come back out and get behind us and get that victory that we need.”

4. Taylor revisits old home

An unlikely 2-0 win against St Patrick’s Athletic has put a spring in the step of Limerick manager Stuart Taylor.

The former midfielder, who had a brief spell with Drogheda as a player, brings his team to United Park with the aim of leapfrogging them into eighth place.

“I had good times up there and I still keep in touch with a lot of people there,” Taylor told the club’s website. “But there are no friends when the ball starts rolling on Friday night. You just go up there and look to win the game.”

Drogs, meanwhile, will look to bounce back from defeat to Derry but must do so without several players due to injury and suspensions.

5. Because this poster says so…

Cork City have led the way this year in terms original pre-match posters in recent times but this Roy of the Rovers-style effort from Sligo for their Sunday afternoon clash with the Hoops at the Showgrounds is an instant favourite of ours…

shamsposter

Source: SligoRovers.com

Premier Division

Tonight (all 7.45pm):

  • Bohemians v Dundalk
  • Cork City v Athlone Town
  • Drogheda v Limerick
  • St Patrick’s Athletic v Derry City
  • UCD v Bray

Sunday:

  • Sligo Rovers v Shamrock Rovers (3pm)

First Division

Tonight:

  • Waterford United v Cobh Ramblers (7.45pm)
  • Shelbourne v Galway (8pm)
  • Wexford Youths v Finn Harps (8pm)
  • Longford Town v Shamrock Rovers Reserves (8pm)

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