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Friday's Airtricity League Premier Division previews

Updated: Friday, 12 Apr 2013 16:13 | Comments

Drogheda's Gavin Brennan could face his brother Sean who now plays for Shelbourne
Drogheda's Gavin Brennan could face his brother Sean who now plays for Shelbourne

Dundalk v Derry City, Oriel Park, 7.45pm

It’s third versus second at Oriel Park and Dundalk can close to within a point of Derry City if they managed to record their first home win of the season.

In the last two home games against Drogheda United and Limerick they came back from two goals down to earn a draw but against a Derry City defence that has only conceded two goals in seven league games they might find it difficult to repeat their Houdini act for a third game in a row.

Derry with 18 goals are the leading scorers in the Premier Division and Dundalk, having conceded 10 goals so far, have the third most porous defence so the importance of keeping a clean sheet won’t have been lost on Lilywhites boss Stephen Kenny.

Dundalk skipper Stephen O’Donnell (calf) remains doubtful having missed the last five games.

Derry are on a six game unbeaten run and will be anxious to close the five point gap on leaders Sligo Rovers who don’t play until Saturday. Derry will be without the services of Stewart Greacen (knee) Sean Houston (hamstring) and Kevin Deery.

UCD v St Patrick's Athletic, The UCD Bowl, 7.45pm

UCD could have moved off the bottom last week had they held on for a few more minutes against Cork City but there are confident noises coming out of Belfield that their fortunes are about to change. Mick Leahy (knee) remains unavailable.

St Pat’s make the short journey looking for their third successive away win ahead of four successive home matches but their record at The Bowl is not good with only one win in their last four visits and that was almost two years ago. Shane McFaul (groin) is their only absentee.

Shamrock Rovers v Bray Wanderers, Tallaght Stadium, 8pm

Last season’s three games between these two sides produced two draws and one win for Rovers and Trevor Croly will be hoping for a repeat of the 3-1 win at the Carlisle Grounds last October as his side look to extend their unbeaten start to the season to eight games by picking up their second victory.

Sean O’Connor (ankle) is a doubt for the Hoops as are Barry Murphy and Thomas Stewart after recent sicknesses. David Elebert and Jason McGuinness remain sidelined through injury.

Bray will be missing captain Danny O'Connor (Achilles) and his brother Kevin (knee) for the second successive game, while doubts surround the participation of Shane O'Connor (ankle) and Owen Hyland (groin).

Shelbourne v Drogheda United, Tolka Park, 8pm

There will be a lot of familiarity when the teams line up at Tolka Park as Drogheda’s David Cassidy, Stephen Quigley, Alan Byrne, Eric Foley, Gary O'Neill and Peter Hynes have all been Shelbourne players in the recent past, while Shelbourne’s Sean Brennan was at Drogheda last season and will be facing his brothers Gavin and Ryan.

The three games between these two sides last season were all won by Drogheda and they will be looking to continue their climb up the table, while Shelbourne are looking to get points and goals on the board having only picked up one of each from their opening six games.

Shels’ Ian Ryan returns from suspension and goalkeeper Ger Hanley could also feature but Glenn Cronin remains on the injured list.

Michael Daly (thigh) and Cathal Brady (calf) are both ruled out of the Drogheda squad but Alan McNally is line for a first league appearance of the season after returning to action in the Leinster Senior Cup last Tuesday.

Live television coverage of Sligo Rovers v Cork City from 15:45 on Saturday 13 April on RTÉ Two and RTE.ie (Worldwide excluding GB & NI).

Highlights and analysis of all the weekend’s action on MNS from 7pm on Monday 15 April on RTÉ Two and RTE.ie (Worldwide).

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