St Patrick’s Athletic travel to Thomond Park for only their third game of the season after having their last two games postponed due to an unplayable pitch and they’ll be keen to kick-start their season against Limerick.
The visitors will have a tough task however, coming up against a Limerick side who have settled in immediately to life in the Premier League and are unbeaten at their new home in Thomond Park.
A win against UCD, a scoreless draw with Cork City and a 2-2 draw away to Drogheda represent a solid return for Stuart Taylor’s side, who were unbeaten until their defeat to champions Sligo last weekend.
"The players have been very professional in the way they’ve conducted themselves" - Stuart Taylor
Taylor must plan for this game without the services of Axel Bossekota and Barry Ryan, who are serving suspension after being sent-off in their side’s draw with Droghda. Ryan’s absence means that Shane Cusack will make his Premier Division debut in goal.
Dave O’Leary and Dominic Foley remain sidelined through injury although Rory Gaffney has returned to training although this weekend’s game may come too early for him to rejoin the squad.
Taylor is confident his side can continue their solid start to the season and said: “We’re looking forward to the St.Pat’s game, we’ve had a good start to the season.
“The players have been very professional in the way they’ve conducted themselves in terms of their passing of the ball and their movement, they’ve been entertaining to watch which is something we want to maintain for the supporters.“
A two week lay-off for St Pat’s at such an early stage of the season could mean that Liam Buckley’s men may be rusty but the manager is confident that his side can hit the ground running.
“Limerick have had a solid start to the season and have caught the eye of a lot of people in their opening games to date with some very good performances,” Buckley said.
“Stuart Taylor has put a decent squad together in a short space of time and they’ll be tough to beat on Saturday. But we’re really keen to get back to action as we’ve had a full squad idle now for two weeks now so it’ll be good to get back playing and hopefully a win.”
The two-week break means that Buckley has a full squad to choose from with Dave Ryan – brother of Limerick’s suspended Barry – back in the reckoning after recovering from a hand injury.
Limerick will be hoping for another sizeable crowd in their new home and those fans may well see their ever-improving side edge to a victory against the Saints.
Whatever Buckley may say, two weeks of sitting around this early into the season will take a toll and Limerick have adapted well to the top flight and the their new surrounds at Thomond. Taylor will expect his side to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat against Sligo and three points against St Pat’s would be the perfect response.