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Monday's Airtricity League previews

Updated: Monday, 29 Apr 2013 17:51 | Comments

Bohemians will be hoping to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat against Dundalk
Bohemians will be hoping to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat against Dundalk

Bray Wanderers v Cork City
Bray Wanderers are a side in trouble and it’s difficult to see where their next win is going to come from.

Without a victory since the opening day of the season and have lose their last five league games Bray are a side in desperate need of three points.

They will attempt to end that poor run of form without the services of Kevin and Shane O’Connor who are struggling with long term injuries and expected to miss the visit of Cork.

Adam Mitchell continues to be sidelined while Gary Dempsey and Conor Earley both picked up knocks in Friday’s 3-2 defeat against Bohemians and will be assessed before kick-off before any decision is made on their fitness.

While not in as precarious a position as Bray, Cork City are still a team struggling to find any sort of consistent form.

City haven’t won in any of their last five league and cup games and manager Tommy Dunne admitted that his side were off the pace in Friday’s 2-0 defeat against Dundalk.

"The Dundalk game was probably the worst performance we have had in quite a while. We have been playing reasonably well at times, but last night we looked like were out-muscled and outfought, and we were beaten in every aspect of the game," he told Corkcityfc.ie.

"Bray at the Carlisle Grounds will be difficult opponents for any team, but we have to look to Monday night to kick start our season, because if it continues the way it has done then we are going to have a tough year.

"We have to get going, we have to pick up three points and we have to get back to trying to dominate matches," Dunne added.

On the injury front, Daryl Kavanagh is a doubt with a tight hamstring, but his manager is hopeful that the forward will be fit. Kevin Murray remains sidelined, while namesake Dan will also miss out.

There looks to be better news elsewhere however and Darren Dennehy (throat infection) and John Dunleavy (tonsillitis) look likely to come back into the reckoning after missing the defeat to Dundalk.

Against Bray Dunne’s side have the perfect chance to turn things around and while Dunne may be talking up the challenge, Cork will expect to leave the Carlisle Grounds with all three points.

Verdict: Cork

St Patrick’s Ath v Bohemians
Surprise package of the season St Pat’s have the chance to close the gap on league leaders Sligo to three points with a victory over Bohemians tonight.

Coming into the game in a fine run of form, Liam Buckley’s men will be confident they can pile the pressure on the Champions with a win against a struggling Bohemians side.

St Pats have not lost a Dublin derby against Bohemians in their last seven encounters, winning three and drawing four times since they last lost to the Gypsies in 2010.

Despite the two teams’ contrasting form, Buckley believes that Bohemians will still offer a stiff challenge.

"Dublin derbies are always big occasion and games with Bohs are always special as both sides have good support and add greatly to the occasion. As a result, the group are looking forward to the game as there should be a good crowd and atmosphere," he said.

"Aaron has put together a good competitive squad this season and has some very good young players so it’ll be a tricky game for us. They play decent football so it should be a good game watch. As it’s a back-to-back game, it is a chance for both sides respectively to move up the table, so we’ll be looking to take advantage of that."

Buckley will be without Wexford born midfielder Greg Bolger as he serves a one match suspension after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season in the 1-1 draw with Derry.

Otherwise, Pats have a full squad to select from meaning that up to six former Bohemians players within the Saints’ squad could line-up against their former side.

Bohemians have been slow to start this season but a 3-2 win against Bray on Friday evening may hint at better things to come from the Dalymount side.

"We’re going over there more confident as result of that win," said manager Aaron Callaghan.

"But Pats are also in better form than when we were due to meet them last month. They have a good squad, they’re on a good run and they have shown they can contend for the title."

Several Gypsies’ players have picked up injuries and will face late fitness tests. Derek Pender (calf) and Dave Scully (hamstring), who were crucial to Bohs’ efforts on Friday, are among the doubtful starters.

Stephen Paisley (knee), Conor O’Brien (ankle) have joined Owen Heary (knee) on the injury list.

Friday’s victory against a Bray side with only four points to their name may prove to be a boost for Bohemians but St Pat’s should still have enough about them to claim victory and extend their unbeaten streak against the Gypsies. 

Verdict: St Patrick’s Ath

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