Premier Division preview - Round 10
All eyes will be firmly set on a mammoth clash down in the south of the country as Waterford FC face Munster Rivals Cork City at the RSC. Elsewhere, Dundalk play host to the RTÉ Cameras and Shamrock Rovers in the other huge game of the weekend. St.Pat’s host a struggling Bray Wanderers, Bohemians square off against Limerick FC at Dalymount Park, while Sligo Rovers will be looking to get back on track with a big win over Kenny Shiels’ Derry City at the Showgrounds.
Dundalk vs Shamrock Rovers
Stephen Bradley and his Shamrock Rovers side will undoubtedly have their work cut out as the “Hoops” will be out looking to solve the Dundalk FC puzzle at Oriel Park. The RTÉ Cameras will be looking on with intrigue and fascination at the County Louth venue.
Dundalk come into this game on an eight-game unbeaten run as an imperious "Lilywhites" defence are yet to concede their first goals of the season as Daniel Cleary and co. have impressed so far at Oriel Park.
Rovers on the other come into this game with a few selection issues as Joey O’Brien misses out once again as Sean Boyd also has to miss out on the trip up to Dundalk with injury. However, Ally Gilchrist returns to the fold after serving his one-game suspension following his dismissal at the RSC.
Dundalk will be favourites for this clash between two of Ireland’s most recognisable clubs and they should come through this game with a win over their bitter rivals from Tallaght as questions still remain regarding the “Hoops’” best starting eleven.
PREDICTION: Dundalk 2-0 Shamrock Rovers
Waterford FC vs Cork City
With all the signs pointing towards a sold-out RSC for the visit of League and Cup champions Cork City, Alan Reynolds knows that if he can mastermind a massive win over John Caulfield’s “Rebel Army” tomorrow night at the RSC, his newly promoted side will most certainly be seen as contenders for the title race that is already shaping up very nicely.
Waterford have started their Premier Division campaign like a house on fire and they already seem like they are in fact, the real deal as the “Blues” continue their meteoric rise from the ashes since the re-branding of the club back in 2017.
City will be keen to put their Munster counterparts back in their place after their blistering start to life back in the top table of Irish football, but John Caulfield’s side will be acutely aware of the threats posed by an emerging Alan Reynold’s Waterford FC side.
With the importance of the game so great for both sides, you would have to favour the League and Cup champions on this occasion, as so many of the City side have been in high pressure scenarios like this before and have often come out on top in these kinds of games.
PREDICTION: Waterford FC 1-2 Cork City
St Patrick’s Athletic vs Bray Wanderers
A beleaguered Bray Wanderers make the daunting trip to Richmond Park to face a frustratingly inconsistent St Patrick’s Athletic side, as Dave Mackey’s men sit rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division table.
Picking up their only point on their opening day excursion to Oriel Park, the “seagulls” have struggled badly since that opening day clash, picking up some heavy beatings alongside some gut-wrenching defeats in Mackey’s first foray into senior management.
“Pats” will surely be left frustrated as to how their season has begun but Liam Buckley’s side will be aware of the glaring opportunity that they have to shoot up the premier Division table with a big win over the league’s bottom side.
In truth, Liam Buckley’s side should more than likely be able to swat aside Bray Wanderers at Richmond Park as the “Seagulls” challenges look to be building week by week as they try desperately to claw their out of a relegation dogfight.
PREDICTION: St Patrick’s Athletic 3-0 Bray Wanderers
Bohemians vs Limerick
After recording a dramatic penalty shootout victory over First Division UCD at Dalymount Park in the EA Sports Cup last time out, Bohemians will be hoping to build on two wins in their last three competitive games with a win over Tommy Barrett’s Limerick FC side at the home of Irish football on Friday night.
Limerick manager, Tommy Barrett will more than likely have to contend without the services of former Bohemians man Eoin Wearen and forward Daniel Kearns while the clash in the capital is also likely to be coming too soon for striker Mark O'Sullivan who has been absent since February with a hand injury. Bohemians are yet to release team news.
Undoubtedly, this game will be very difficult to call as both sides will be looking to avoid an almighty relegation dogfight down at the bottom of the table in the Premier Division, but, with home advantage, Bohemians should just about edge it.
PREDICTION: Bohemians 2-1 Limerick FC
Sligo Rovers vs Derry City
In what is the final Premier Division game of the weekend, Gerard Lyttle’s struggling Sligo Rovers will be looking to get back to winning ways for the first time in almost a month with a win over Kenny Shiels’ rejuvenated Derry City side at the Showgrounds.
The “Candystripes” come into this game on the back of a three-game unbeaten run that has coincided with their long-awaited return to the Brandywell but on their last away league outing, they were embarrassingly swept aside by six goals to one against a rampant Shamrock Rovers side at Tallaght Stadium.
On the other hand, Sligo Rovers did win the last game between the pair which came on the second day of the season as an Alistair Roy winner sealed the deal for Gerard Lyttle’s men at the Showgrounds, but they will be well aware that this is a different Derry City challenge to that of two months ago.
PREDICTION: Sligo Rovers 1-1 Derry City
For in depth previews and discussion on all the above games why not check out Between the Stripes LOI podcast.