ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC v SHAMROCK ROVERS (Live on RTE Two)
St Patrick’s Athletic host Shamrock Rovers in Richmond Park with Liam Buckley’s side hoping to end the league champions’ unbeaten start to the season.
Buckley welcomes former Hoops attacker Dean Kelly back from suspension but defender Aidan Price remains out through injury.
Buckley views the game as a good measure of where his side currently are.
"Rovers and Sligo will be the top two to beat this year. If you mix it in with them, you have a chance. It’ll be interesting to see where we are in our development. We need to turn our performances into results, so if we can start on Friday it’ll be great," he said.
Rovers boss Stephen Kenny will be without Kerrea Gilbert who aggrivated a hamstring problem during his side's 2-0 win over Bohemians last week.
Ciaran Kilduff (broken metatarsal), Conor Winn (back) and Stephen O’Donnell (knee cartilage) remain out of the action through injury.
Gary McCabe and Conor Powell return to the squad after their recent suspensions, and according to Hoops boss, Stephen Kenny, are expected to start against St Pat’s.
Commenting on the game, Kenny said: “We’ve had a good start to the season and we’ll be looking to build on that on Friday. Pat’s have some very good players and we respect that; I fully expect them to challenge for the title this year."
BOHEMIANS v CORK CITY
Bohemians face Cork City in a battle of two teams without a win in the league so far this season.
Bohemians manager Aaron Callaghan’s has an almost-complete squad available but midfielder Dwayne Wilson will miss Friday’s match due to a long-standing family commitment.
The players recently hit by flu - Luke Byrne, Andy Mulligan and Keith Murray - are all back and there are no suspensions or injuries.
The Gypsies remain without a league goal, but Callaghan is confident that it's only a matter of time before his side turn things around.
"We are rebuilding, we are developing a team system and that takes time. We have had a run of games against the teams that are most likely to finish towards the top of the table," he said.
Cork will continue to be without injured trio Stephen Mulcahy, Kevin Murray and Neal Horgan while John Dunleavy (flu) and Tadhg Purcell (ankle) are doubts.
City boss Tommy Dunne expects a testing encounter: "Something has to give in this game; either Bohs will score or we will keep a clean sheet. I watched their game with Shamrock Rovers and I thought they did quite well. They have a young team, but they looked very solid at the back and it took a moment of magic to break the deadlock."
BRAY WANDERERS v SLIGO ROVERS
Bray Wanderers proved their battling quality in holding Cork City last week but face a real test against Sligo Rovers – who have defeated Bray in seven of the last eight meetings between the sides.
The Seagulls will continue without Adam Mitchell (head injury), Shane O'Connor (groin) and suspended Dane Massey.
It is eleven games since Bray had a win over Sligo and that was a 3-1 win at the Carlisle Grounds in 2009.
Sligo's Jason McGuinness is a doubt with a back problem. The defender missed the win over Dundalk last week and will be assessed before the game.
Mark Quigley serves another suspension, as he will in Monday’s EA Sports Cup match with Monaghan, but the former Dundalk striker will return next week against Derry City.
Pascal Millien is also due to return for the Derry game after receiving a work permit.
Sligo manager Ian Baraclough is expecting a difficult match at the Carlisle Grounds despite recent form: "When you are on a good run, people expect you to keep winning games and that is the challenge that faces us," he said.
"Bray will not make it easy for us and I don’t think their performances so far are reflected in the league table. They have a good draw in Cork last week and they‘ve played well in large parts of matches."
DERRY CITY v UCD
Derry City play host to UCD in the Brandywell, hoping to have learned some leasons from last weekend's loss to Mick Cooke's Drogheda United.
Derry will be without the services of centre half Stewart Greacen who could be out for a number of weeks after he damaged the cartilage in his right knee on Friday night. He is due to have a scan on the knee to assess the damage this week and it will then be determined if he needs surgery on the problem.
Mark Farren will also be missing from the side as he has a swollen foot after shipping a knock on it during last Friday's game. Barry Molloy will be suspended after his sending-off in Drogheda last week.
City manager Declan Devine said: "The lads know that I will be looking for a good response against UCD and that we can't afford to go out onto the pitch giving anything less than 100 per cent.
"The most important thing for me is that we concentrate on our own game and get that right and if we are successful in this we can win the game and keep our home record intact."
UCD have Samir Belhout and Gary Burke back in contention but Ger Barron and Paul Corry remain out with foot injuries. James Kavanagh is a doubt with a hip flexor problem.
UCD manager Martin Russell is wary of Derry after their defeat against Drogheda: "We will go to the Brandywell knowing that they will be trying to bounce back from their Drogheda defeat, we have to go there in a positive manner and play our game, and try impose ourselves on it, as always we will be asking the lads to show us what they can do."
DUNDALK v SHELBOURNE
Dundalk will look to secure their second home win in a row after suffering a 3-0 loss at Sligo Rovers last time out.
Defender Derek Foran and midfielder John Mountney are both doubts for Dundalk. A late decision will be made on both Mountney (groin) and Foran (heel), who have started all five league games to date.
Manager Sean McCaffrey is again without the services of striker Mark Griffin (groin), left-back Eoghan Osborne (leg) and centre-half Luke Danville (hamstring).
Shelbourne have striker Paul Byrne back from an ankle injury but Glenn Cronin misses this game through suspension.
Shelbourne boss Alan Mathews wants to see his side build on last week's draw with St Pat's: "We didn’t play particularly well last week but we showed a different side to our team – great character, good resilience and dug out a good point in the end against a very good St Pat’s team. I was happy with it."
MONAGHAN UNITED v DROGHEDA UNITED
Mick Cooke will make his first return to Gortakeegan since stepping down to take over at Drogheda United at the beginning of the 2011 season and although Cooke was the clubs longest serving manager the visit will hardly be regarded as a homecoming.
Monaghan have a couple of injury concerns. Robert Bayly suffered a knock against UCD and Shaun Maher and John Reilly are doubts but Paul Whelan returns from injury.
Drogheda's Cathal Brady is out of Friday's game along with Paul Crowley, while Peter Hynes is doubtful.
Cooke is aware that much of the focus will be on him but is looking forward to the game.
"I am looking forward to going back to Gortakeegan and I'm delighted that's in the Premier Division. I am expecting a tough game for sure, they might not have a win under their belt yet, but they have gone close and it's only a matter of time," he said.
"They have drawn away to Pats and against Dundalk so they are by no means a team to underestimate. And of course there are a few players there who played under me and it will make it interesting.
"I firmly believe we caught Derry napping on Friday night and they just weren't expecting what we gave them. I was delighted with the win, but I still believe that Derry will run Shamrock Rovers close this season."