Bohemian FC v Monaghan United, 7.45pm
Bohemians host Monaghan United looking to build on their recent good form that has seen Aaron Callaghan’s charges win their previous two games.
Monaghan are still looking to secure their first League win of the season and bounce back from a 6-0 drubbing in Cork last time out.
Bohs welcome back Dwayne Wilson from a family commitment in Australia, and should be at full strength bar striker Dave Scully who sits out the second and last match of his suspension.
Monaghan have suspensions to Keith Quinn and Willo McDonagh, while defenders Aidan Collins and Alan Byrne remain absent through injury. Shaun Maher, John Reilly and Conor McMahon are also injury doubts.
Bohemians boss Callaghan said: “They’ve gone to Tallaght and restricted Rovers to a couple of late goals, and the Cork result is neither here nor there, they could easily have been two up. I know Roddy, he’ll have them up for it, especially coming back here.”
Monaghan boss Roddy Collins said: “I’m looking forward to returning to Dalymount Park to play Bohemians – a venue and a club that I have some great memories of from my time there. Our lads have endeavored to put the memories of the bad result behind them with some excellent training sessions during the week and all are keen for this encounter with Bohs.”
Bray Wanderers v Shamrock Rovers, 7.45pm
Bray host champions Shamrock Rovers looking to secure their second win of the season after a run of four games without a victory.
The Hoops will travel to the Carlisle Grounds looking to return to winning ways after a shock 3-0 home loss to Derry City in the Setanta Sports Cup on Monday.
Bray defenders Shane O'Connor and Adam Mitchell are both still doubtful with injuries. Rovers are without Kerrea Gilbert (hamstring), Ciaran Kilduff (broken metatarsal) and Stephen O’Donnell (knee cartilage) through injury. Conor Winn returns from a back injury. Killian Brennan (calf) is a doubt.
Rovers boss Stephen Kenny said: “We need to concentrate on the game against Bray now. Pat Devlin has again managed to unearth some excellent young players and when you go to Bray you’re always in for a battle. Our display against Dundalk was excellent and that is something we should aspire to every week.”
Brays Director of Football Pat Devlin commented: "It's time now to get results, it’s not about performances. I will be emphasising that we need to put points on the board. We are both coming into the game off the back of defeats. It should be interesting.”
Cork City v Sligo Rovers, 7.45pm
League leaders Sligo Rovers travel to Turner’s Cross to face a Cork City side boosted by their first win of the season having hammered Monaghan 6-0 last time out.
Rovers lost their unbeaten record in all competitions when they went down 2-0 to Crusaders in the Setanta Sports Cup semi-final first leg on Monday but Ian Baraclough’s side are still unbeaten in the Premier Division.
City pair Jamie Murphy (ankle) and John Dunleavy (knee) are both doubts but long-term absentees Stephen Mulcahy and Kevin Murray have each returned to training. Neal Horgan is also close to a return to training.
Rovers defender Jason McGuinness is a doubt with a shoulder problem. Pascal Millien is in the squad and there are no other injury or suspension concerns.
Cork City boss Tommy Dunne said: “Sligo have had an excellent start to the season, and are the early pace-setters, so we know they will provide tough opposition. I watched their game against Derry, and they have quality all over pitch. From our point of view, it is good to be playing quality opposition who will challenge us and help us to improve.”
Rovers boss Baraclough said: “Losing at Crusaders was a disappointment but the players are keen for Friday night because we have got a bunch of characters that hate losing. It hurts them and they will want the chance to get back to it. I’ll be looking for an improvement and we’ll be in good spirits travelling down to Cork.”
Derry City v Dundalk, 7.45pm
Derry host Dundalk having drawn their previous two league encounters but are buoyant after an impressive 3-0 victory over Shamrock Rovers in the Setanta Sports Cup semi-final first leg on Monday.
The Lilywhites travel to the Brandywell on the back of a 6-0 thumping by the Hoops. Dundalk are looking for their first away goal in the league since last September and their first away league victory since June.
Derry are without Rory Patterson (foot), Ruaidhri Higgins (groin), Owen Morrison (calf) and Stewart Greacen (knee) through injury. There will also be late fitness tests for Shane McEleney, Stephen McLoughlin and Simon Madden.
Dundalk’s Derek Foran (back) is a doubt but left-back Nathan Murphy (toe) returns from injury and Eoghan Osborne is also likely to feature while Mark Griffin (groin) remains out.
Derry manager Declan Devine commented: " Dundalk will be looking to restore some pride after their defeat in Tallaght last week and will come into this game with nothing to lose. We have seen teams come here in the past and make it difficult for us and I expect Dundalk to be no different.”
Drogheda United v Shelbourne, 7.45pm
Drogheda will look to maintain their unbeaten run when they host Shelbourne at Hunky Dorys Park. The Louthmen have not been beaten in six games since their opening day loss to Shamrock Rovers.
Shelbourne have not met United in a league fixture since 2006 but Alan Mathews’ side have already shown their quality with several impressive displays this term and picked up their first league win in four games with a 2-1 home win against Bray last Friday.
Drogheda’s Paul Crowley remains out while he recovers from an operation. Ryan Brennan returns from suspension and Cathal Brady is fit again.
Shelbourne are without injured pair Lorcan Fitzgerald (dislocated shoulder) and Stephen Hurley (punctured lung), who suffered serious injuries in the EA Sports Cup win over Bray last week.
Drogheda boss Mick Cooke said: “Shels are on a good run at the moment and certainly there is a lot of confidence about the club. They will also bring a big crowd down with them which should generate a good atmosphere. Alan Mathews has done a great job with them and with their promotion and good form they are a match for anyone on their day. “
Shelbourne manager Alan Mathews said: “It’s going to be another very difficult game. Drogheda have had a great start to the season. They have some good players, have a good togetherness about them because they’ve made such a good start and we know it’s going to be difficult. We’re going to have to work very hard to make sure we get the three points.”
St Patrick's Athletic v UCD, 7.45pm
Pat’s will look to continue their unbeaten start to the new season when they host UCD at Richmond Park. The two sides recently met in the EA Sports Cup with St Pat’s running out 2-1 winners.
Liam Buckley’s Saints have produced some scintillating football this term but have drawn four of their last five fixtures so need to convert their dominant displays into victories to maintain the pressure on the leading pack.
The Saints have no reported injury or suspension concerns. UCD have doubts over Ger Barron (toe) and Mick Leahy (hip flexor).
St Pat’s boss Liam Buckley said: "Martin continues to work wonders at UCD and he must really be commended for the work he does year in and year out. Like ourselves, UCD try to keep the ball on the ground and play attractive football. We know that they’ll really put it up to us having played against them recently, so it should make for an entertaining game.”
UCD’s Martin Russell said: “We played some good football against Bohs but we didn’t get the reward I felt we deserved. Following the last game against St Pats the personnel will change slightly but I believe we are in for an entertaining game with both sides looking to play good football and as ever we will look to grab all three points.”