Sligo Rovers v Drogheda United
Sligo Rovers will look to take one step closer to the Airtricity Premier Division title when they host Bohemians in The Showgrounds tonight.
Looking to win a first crown in 35 years, the Bit o' Red are currently six points clear of Drogheda United, and eight of the resurgent Shamrock Rovers, with both sides winning their respective matches on Friday night.
It is uncharted territory for Ian Baraclough's men as they try to secure the wins that will hold off the chasing pack.
Tonight they face the team that inflicted their last home league defeat, 13 months ago, and the matches this year have proven close affairs.
Lee Lynch struck a late winner for Rovers in the first clash back in March, while a 0-0 draw in Dalymount Park saw Bohs squander chances to take full points.
Rovers will be without Danny North and Iarfhlaith Davoren due to injury, while Ross Gaynor is suspended. Romauld Boco departed the club for Accrington Stanley for an undisclosed fee in a blow to the league leaders.
Bohs boss Aaron Callaghan has reached out to experience to try to secure a top-half finish with the signing of Garreth O'Connor.
O’Connor, 33, last played with Bohemians 13 years ago and since then spent nearly a decade in England, playing with Bournemouth and Burnley, among others.
Bohs have also brought in Sligonian Kevin Devaney after his departure from Finn Harps.
Owen Heary and Ryan McEvoy are out with injury for Bohs, while impressive centre-half Kevin Feely is suspended.
“We want to finish as high up in the league as we can. To do that we have to be better in the attacking side of the game,” said manager Callaghan.
“We have had two good games against them this year. We were just beaten by the odd goal up there and drew 0-0 at home and we could have nicked it.
“But we know they’re a good side, they move and pass well, and we have got to make sure we keep up our concentration levels.”
Sligo manager Baraclough has told his players there will be no slip-up from their title rivals.
He said: “We spent the early part of the week on togetherness and getting away from football because it was a long wait for another game and it was important to vary things.
"It was a good build-up, we put a lot of focus on the game in the last few days and we’re ready for Monday night now.
“Apart from the games against each other, we look at it that we expect our rivals to win all their matches from here to the end of the season. We have to make it happen for ourselves, keep our good home record going and keep winning games.
“Friday’s results showed that and reminds us of what we have to do. There are five home games in the eight matches left this year and we have to make them count. It is expected we’ll see a big crowd on Monday night that will try to help us in every part of it.”
St Pat's Athletic v Derry City
If St Pat’s are to stay in touch with league leaders Sligo Rovers, they will have to take all three points when they entertain Derry City this evening. A victory would bring them level with third-placed Shamrock Rovers, leaving them eight points off the top.
With just eight games remaining, time is running out and they cannot afford any more slip-ups.
Pat’s manager Liam Buckley must face the game without the injured Mark Rossiter and the suspended Darren Meenan, while John Russell, who has an ankle injury, is a doubt.
The Dublin side will be hoping to improve on recent league results at Richmond Park, having taken just one point from their last three home games.
Derry, on the other hand, have not lost an away game in the league since being beaten 2-0 by Drogheda back on 30 March.
Derry visit Dublin for the second time in four days, having beaten Shels 2-0 in Tolka Park on Friday night, and a third time in just 10 days, something which has upset manager Declan Devine.
The Derry boss said: ”I’m very upset with the fact that we must once again travel to Dublin for a third time in 10 days.
“This game has been re-arranged due to the fact that we were asked by the FAI to postpone the original tie to facilitate St Pat’s European fixture list.
"We agreed with this under the conditions that it would be re-arranged at a time that suited both teams, a point which the people looking after the fixture lists within the FAI seem to have forgotten.
“I’m dealing with a small, very young squad and the last couple of weeks have been really testing on them, we travelled to Tolka on Friday with just 4 players in the squad over 24 years of age.
“And it will be more of the same on Monday, at the end of the day it is what it is and we must adapt to it and do our very best to get through this busy period.
“I thought we played very well on Friday night and deserved all three points, but this game will have its own challenges, not least the fact the Liams Buckley’s teams are hard to break down on a normal match night.
“The fact that they will be well rested having not played for seven days will make it even more of a task. But if we can continue to perform as we have over the last four games we have ever chance to come away with all three points.”
Derry will travel to Richmond Park without the services of David McDaid who is suspended for this tie, while Rory Paterson (hamstring) and Owen Morrison (groin) are also unavailable.