St Patrick’s Athletic v Cork City, Richmond Park, 7:45pm
St Patrick's Athletic are next in line as Cork City look to make it ten wins on the bounce in the Premier Division.
The Leesiders have enjoyed a remarkable start to the season and will look to push further clear at the top of the table with a victory in Inchicore.
St Pat's will be looking to kick-start their season against the league leaders as Liam Buckley's side are currently languishing in the relegation zone in tenth place in the table with an eight-point return from nine games.
St Patrick's Athletic: Pat’s remain without the services of striker Christy Fagan with a hamstring injury, while former Cork City defender Darren Dennehy also misses out with an ankle injury.
Cork City: Jimmy Keohane is ruled out after he suffered a shoulder injury against Bohemians last Friday. Steven Beattie and Johnny Dunleavy will both be assessed ahead of the game.
Liam Buckley (St Pat's): "We’re looking forward to the prospect of facing the team leading the way in the standings to date.
"Cork are a good side and they’ve been impressive in the games I’ve seen them in so they deserve to be top of the league.
"However, we’re full of belief that we can get a result against Cork as games between ourselves over the last while have been close and last year we turned them over in Richmond, so we’ll again look to go out and win the game."
John Caulfield (Cork City): The one thing about them [Pat's] is that they will always come out to play and they are always very attractive to watch. At the moment, some weeks they are lightening and other weeks they are not, which is probably frustrating for Liam. From our point of view, we have to assume Pat’s will play at their best and we have to be ready for that challenge."
Bray Wanderers v Shamrock Rovers, Carlisle Grounds, 7:45pm
This year's surprise packet will be looking to maintain their lofty league position as Bray Wanderers host Shamrock Rovers at the Carlisle Grounds.
Harry Kenny's high-flying Seagulls are third in the table following last weekend's remarkable win at Oriel Park and the Seasiders will be looking to add the scalp of the Hoops tonight.
Rovers have found a bit of form over the past week with two wins in four days and will be hoping to get back in touch with the top four with a win in Bray.
Bray Wanderers: Conor Kenna is back from suspension, while Conor Earley, Hughie Douglas and Kevin Lynch all remain out through injury.
Shamrock Rovers: Danny Devine is a doubt ahead of the game, while Paul Corry is back in full training this week and should travel with the squad. Ryan Connolly is still struggling with his foot injury and will miss the trip to Bray but otherwise Stephen Bradley has a full squad to choose from.
Harry Kenny (Bray): "We were very pleased to come away from the champions last Friday with the three points and to score three goals in Oriel Park is no mean feat.
"That win keeps us up at the right end of the table and we now look forward to Shamrock Rovers coming to the Carlisle."
Stephen Bradley (Shamrock Rovers): "They're obviously doing really well this year, they have a good squad and they're picking up results. Gary McCabe is doing well, he's having a good year, he's scoring goals and he's dangerous if you give him time around the box so we have to be aware of that.
It's going to be a tough game, we know that, but we're going into the game on the back of two good results, so we'll be strong as well and it has all the makings of a good game."
Dundalk v Bohemians, Oriel Park, 7:45pm
Dundalk will aim to get their campaign challenge back on track as they take on Bohemians at Oriel Park.
The champions suffered a shock defeat at home to Bray last weekend and Stephen Kenny's side need to get back to winning ways with leaders Cork already nine points clear of the second-placed Lilywhites.
Bohemians are also looking to get something out of the game as they look to remain clear of the relegation zone.
The Dublin club currently lie in eighth place in the table, just two points clear of the dreaded bottom three teams.
Dundalk: Dundalk will be without Robbie Benson and Seán Gannon for the next month or so as they are ruled out with hamstring and knee injuries respectively. Shane Grimes is continuing his recovery from his hamstring tear and is in line to return to full training in the near future. Stephen O’Donnell is working his way back to full fitness and played in the first half against UCD on Monday, however, Paddy Barrett went off with a thigh injury in the same match and is rated doubtful for the visit of Bohs as is Niclas Vemmelund with both facing late fitness tests.
Bohemians: Jamie Doyle (quad) returns, Ian Morris (knee) could be in line for first league start in a month, Dinny Corcoran (knee) has been ruled out, while Ismahil Akinade (surgery to remove spleen) and Eoin Wearen (cruciate) remain on the sidelines.
Sean Hoare (Dundalk centre-half): "It’s going to be difficult against Bohemians. We are all very disappointed with the result last week. We felt that we didn’t deserve to lose the game against Bray Wanderers.
"We have been playing well recently and we need to pick up the three points. We are looking forward to the game and hopefully we can get the victory."
Keith Long (Bohemians): "We have to look after ourselves and our own performance. We're going up thinking we can get something out of it.
"Dundalk don't lose many in Oriel Park. We are going have to work hard, play for each other and embrace the challenge.
"It's a tough test. Dundalk have new players and they will click eventually. We just have to do our best to make sure they don't click tonight."
Limerick v Galway United, Markets Field, 7:45pm
Galway United return to league action on Friday evening with a trip to the Markets Field to face Limerick.
United remain without a win in the league this season but there were encouraging signs last week as they drew with St Pat's, before beating Derry City in the EA Sports Cup.
Limerick are sitting pretty in fourth place in the table and will be looking to remain there with victory at home tonight.
Limerick: To follow
Galway United: Maurice Nugent, Declan Sharkey and Jesse Devers are all ruled out. There are doubts over the availability of Padraic Cunningham and Paul Sinnott, and both players will be assessed ahead of the game.
Shane Keegan (Galway United): "We're going down there with every belief that we can go and get the win.
"It's a really tough one, but looking at the positives, we've only been beaten once in our last six games, but we've drawn too many of those games. We've shown how hard we are to beat, and if we're hard to break down, we're in with a good chance."
Finn Harps v Drogheda United, Finn Harps, 8:00pm
Drogheda United will go in search of only their second away win this season when they face Finn Harps at Finn Park on Friday night, kick-off 8pm.
The Drogs ended a six-match losing run with a late 2-1 home win over Shamrock Rovers a fortnight ago but their difficulties on the road were evident again last week.
With six players definitely out and another half-dozen doubtful, Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan is facing a mammoth task in trying to get three points as his side look to stay clear of the relegation zone.
Finn Harps: Six players are ruled out through injury - Danny Morrissey (hamstring), Ciaran O’Connor (hamstring), Jonny Bonner (hamstring), B.J. Banda (knee), Packie Mailey, Harry Doherty. While Eddie Dsane (back), Paddy McCourt (hip), Barry Molloy (groin), Caolan McAleer (knee), Gareth Harkin (groin) and Ciaran Coll (hip) are all doubts ahead of the game.
Drogheda United: Drogheda will be without Thomas Byrne and Eoghan Dempsey who are away on international duty. Sean Brennan is unavailable through suspension while Lloyd Buckley and Killian Brennan miss out due to injury. Both Gavin Brennan and Marc Griffin will be available for selection having overcome knocks.
Ollie Horgan (Finn Harps): "We have doubts over Paddy McCourt, Barry Molloy, Caolan McAleer, Eddie Dsane, Ciaran Coll and Gareth Harkin. We’ll just have to see tomorrow how those lads are and hopefully some of them can play a part against Drogheda.
"Drogheda have a lot of quality in their squad with the likes of Sean Thornton, Ryan McEvoy and the Brennan brothers Killian, Ryan and Sean. And when they click they are well capable of defeating even the likes of Dundalk."
Pete Mahon (Drogheda): "We were absolutely dreadful [losing away at Limerick]. It was by far our worst performance of the season. We weren't there mentally which you could see from the awful start we made.
"We only have nine points at the moment and that's not enough. We set ourselves the target of around 13 points from the first round of games so there's obviously a lot of work to do in the remaining two games.
"Finn Harps are doing really well so far and they're a physical team to play against. I think Harps have that knack of picking up results even when they haven't played particularly well and it's something we can learn from.
"It's not an easy place to get to and it's not ideal with the players needing to get time off work. I've said it before but there are no easy games in this division and we'll be looking for a huge improvement in our performance."