Limerick v Cork City

Cork City will look to maintain their recent good form, as they make the short trip to Limerick (6.30pm).

Having gone two games without a win, manager John Caulfield challenged his side to bounce back and they did so over the weekend; recording home wins over Sligo Rovers (3-2) and Drogheda United (4-1) to leave them in second place in the table.

City have played six league games away from home this season, and have a record of three wins and three draws from those; their last away game was a 1-1 draw against Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

Caulfield hopes to have Ross Gaynor back from the hamstring injury that has ruled him out of recent games, meaning that the only absentees will be Alan Bennett and John Dunleavy.

Bennett is recovering from a hamstring injury and the defender says he is happy with his progress, while Dunleavy is ruled out for the next several weeks, as he works his way back from a knee injury.

The sides last met on the opening day of the season at Turner’s Cross, with City claiming an emphatic 5-0 win; a brace from each of the Dennehy brothers being added to by an excellent strike from Gavan Holohan. 

The last meeting between the sides on Shannonside took place last year and saw City claim a vital 1-0 win at Thomond Park, thanks to a late Rob Lehane goal.

“We know the venue is tricky; in their home games against the top teams they have proven to be very difficult opponents,” said Caulfield.

“Limerick have massive potential; they probably lack a bit of experience, but at the same time, they do have some players who have been around a long time.

“They had a difficult start, but you can see in the last two months, they are beginning to get good results.

“We know it will be difficult but we have ambitions to stay at the top this season and that is what we intend to do; we know it will be a tough game, but we still believe we can go there and win the match.”

Limerick boss Martin Russell said: “It won’t be an easy game. We’ll have to be as good as we were against Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers and even Saint Patrick’s Athletic.

“We just want the first win and then take it from there. I fully believe we should have more points.

"Sometimes you don’t get the rewards when you expect to get them but you’ve just got to keep doing the right thing and believe it will come right."

Right-back Seán Harding is the only injury doubt. 

Bray Wanderers v St Patrick's Athletic

St Patrick’s Athletic will face Bray Wanderers in the Carlisle Grounds this evening (5.45pm) hoping to continue their unbeaten run has seen them undefeated n their last 10 games in all competitions, while the Seagulls will be hoping for a first win in five games under newly appointed manager, Trevor Croly. 

Saints manager Liam Buckley has confirmed that skipper Ger O’Brien will miss out with a hamstring injury, and Greg Bolger is a doubt with an ankle injury sustained in Monday’s goalless draw with Shamrock Rovers.

Christy Fagan has stepped up his recovery from a knee injury and both he and Bolger will face a fitness test. There was some positive news on Togo international Cyril Guedjé who has returned to training. 

“I was satisfied with the performance against Rovers,” said Buckley. “But I also felt we could have done a little better in parts. 

"We’ve worked on a few things this week and hopefully we can put them into practise on Saturday evening against Bray. 

“We’ve had a few tight games in the Carlisle Grounds in the last few seasons so the players know that they will have a tough game.” 

“It’s a game that our supporters always travel out to in good numbers so hopefully we can go out there and get the three points for them and move up the table.” 

Bray team news to follow...

Sligo Rovers v Drogheda United

Sligo Rovers host Drogheda United in The Showgrounds (7.45pm) after suffering a late 3-2 defeat to high-flying Cork City at Turner’s Cross last Friday.

Struggling Rovers have been given a boost with the return from injury of Gavin Peers who has been missing since the EA Sports cup loss to Derry City in early April with a groin injury.

Morten Nielsen is also available again having missed to Cork game while there is one absentee joining Jeff Henderson with Jake Dykes out with a hamstring injury that forced him off at half time in Cork.

Bit o’ Red manager Owen Heary spoke about Peers return: “It’s good to have Gavin back. He is one of our most experienced players. He is a good defender and a good leader over a long number of years.

“It’s great that he is fully recovered and can come back into the squad.”

Heary is hoping his team can eradicate the lapses in concentration which have costs the team points with late goals in the last two games.

“Looking back at the game against Cork City we played very well. We kept the ball well and we passed it well,” said Heary.

“We created plenty of chances in the game which was good and scored two goals against one of the best and most organised defences in the league.

"And we had some good chances to score more. But the negative is that we come away from the game with nothing having played well.”

Drogheda, meanwhile, will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways being beaten 4-1 by Cork City on Monday and finished the night with eight men, much to the frustration of manager Johnny McDonnell.

"We should have been 2-0 up at half time," admitted McDonnell.

"Our decision making on the night was poor and [goalkeeper] Schlingermann, who has been excellent for us all season, knows he made a mistake in positioning the wall and then we didn't deal with the corner.

“They scored three goals with five minutes left and none had come from open play.

"Our first-half performance was excellent but once they scored early in the second half, it was always going to be difficult."

Three red cards on the night mean that Drogheda have received six reds so far this season and while McDonnell doesn't feel that discipline is an issue, he was frustrated with how the players reacted on the night.

"We are down to the bare bones due to the suspensions. I have some sympathy for Shane Dunne as it was an honest tackle that was a little late, while Alan Byrne was blocking a shot that hit him in the chest and he was sent off for handball.

“Daryl Kavanagh's red card on the other hand was poor from him and he knows that's not good enough."

United have already beaten Sligo Rovers this season as they came out on top 3-2 at United Park and Drogheda currently sit ahead of Sligo in ninth in the table. 

"I'm not concerned with what's going on at Sligo at the moment as we have more than enough to focus on here. We have to go there and think we can get something out of the game.

“We will go to Sligo with the group of players that are available and I'm sure we will do our best to get a result."

Drogheda will be without the suspended trio of Dunne, Byrne and Kavanagh while Lloyd Buckley is doubtful with the flu. Neil Yadolahi and Stephen Maher remain sidelined.