Bohemians v Finn Harps, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Keith Long will be hoping his side can bounce back from last week’s home reversal to Sligo Rovers when they welcome bottom side Finn Harps to Dublin 7.
The previous two encounters finished 1-0 to Bohs, with Dinny Corcoran the match-winner in February, while Daniel McGrath claimed the only goal of the game at Finn Park in April.
After a blistering start to the season, the wins have dried up for the Gypsies of late, yet they still remain third in the table, with a point to spare over Derry City in fourth. The gap between themselves and Friday night’s visitors in 21 points.
Bohemians: Rob Cornwall (Achilles), Dinny Corcoran (ankle), Danny Grant (hamstring), Robbie McCourt (ankle) and Cristian Magerusan (cruciate) are all out. A leg injury means Keith Buckley is rated as 50-50, while skipper Derek Pender remains suspended. Conor Levingston has served his ban and is available for selection.
Darragh Leahy is away on international duty with the Ireland U21s and while James Talbot was called into the Mick McCarthy’s senior squad, he will be released to play against Finn Harps.
Finn Harps: Harry Ascroft, Gareth Harkin, Mark Timlin, Ciaran Gallagher, Michael Gallagher , John Kavanagh all remain sidelined through injury, while Nathan Boyle is rated as doubtful for the game. Mark Coyle is suspended after being sent-off for a second yellow card offence against Derry City in the EA Sports Cup quarter-final on Monday night
Keith Long (Bohs): "Our performances in my view deserved more from recent games and the players are putting in a huge amount of effort and are playing well. Performances have been good and the bigger picture for us is that we currently sit in third place in the table going into the third phase of games.
"We have a young team who are developing very well. We know we can be better and we know what’s required to get more from games. We may not win every game but we understand what we need to do in order to try and win."
"This is an opportunity for us to bounce back from Monday's disappointment. We need to show our mettle now and put in a performance at home after a couple of disappointing results."
Ollie Horgan (Finn Harps): "Bohs will be hurting after losing at home to Sligo last Friday night, so that won’t make our job of getting a result any easier. They will be looking to consolidate their third place in terms of Europe qualification and we’re in a mighty battle just to try and stay in the Premier Division.
"Bohemians have a very good squad and have done really well for most of the season so far. We have lost to them twice already this season. While both results were only 1-0, the reality is that we have no points against them."
Dundalk v Sligo Rovers, Oriel Park, 7.45pm
Sligo Rovers come into the game full of confidence after last week's televised 2-1 win at Dalymount Park. Rovers may trail the joint league leaders by nineteen points, but Liam Buckley's side will have little fear having drawn 1-1 at Oriel Park on the opening day of the campaign and earning a 1-1 draw at the Showgrounds.
The Lilywhites left it very late to collect all three points at Inchicore last week and know any slip-up could have a huge bearing in the outcome of the title race. Goal difference is all that separates them and Shamrock Rovers they eased to a 3-1 EA Sports Cup win over UCD on Monday night.
"It was a good win for us on Monday evening. It is good to get into another Cup semi-final and we want to win more," striker Georgie Kelly said.
"We made changes on the night and I thought that the team did well to get through. It was a good performance from us and we are looking forward to the next round."
Dundalk: Robbie Benson is continuing his recovery from a broken leg and Jamie McGrath remains out with a foot problem. Cameron Dummigan damaged his ankle ligaments against UCD on Monday and will likely miss the next two weeks. Sean Murray came off at half-time last week and will be subject of a late fitness test tomorrow. John Mountney and Daniel Kelly remain doubtful, while Ross Treacy comes back into the squad after training with the Ireland U21’s this week.
Sligo Rovers: Dante Leverock (concussion) is out and travels to meet up with Bermuda ahead of the Gold Cup in the coming days. Regan Donelon and Johnny Dunleavy are doubtful with muscle strains. Niall Morahan returns.
Vinny Perth (Dundalk): "Oriel has become a real fortress for us. We want to continue that good home form that we have had against Sligo Rovers.
"It’s not going to be easy but hopefully we can play as close to the best of our ability and go win the game."
Liam Buckley (Sligo Rovers): "Whether we are under the radar is something I don’t dwell on really but what is happening is we are fundamentally getting better and improving. We are halfway through the season but it remains a work in progress because we are trying to gel it together. By no means do we get carried away because you’re 90 minutes away from a defeat. We have to maintain all the attributes I’ve spoken about.
"We got a draw earlier in the season in Oriel. Dundalk have a good squad of players, their ambition would be to the win. From our end we go there looking give a good account of ourselves and to get a result."
St Patrick’s Athletic v Cork City, Inchicore, 7.45pm
A meeting of two sides who would have hoped to be higher in the table. St Pat’s were dark horses for some to mount a title challenge, but the men from Inchicore have won just one league game in their last six and occupy mid-table.
That is three places and four points above their opponents City and who came away from three recent trips to the capital with two defeats; to Shamrock Rovers in the league and Monday night’s 2-0 defeat to Bohs in the EA Sports Cup.
They will look to arrest that trend and avenge the 1-0 defeat at Richmond Park on the opening day of the season.
Pat's for their part can consider themselves somewhat unfortunate to come a cropper to Sean Hoare's last-minute winner for Dundalk last time out.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Pat’s are without duo Lee Desmond and Conor Clifford through injury, while Rhys McCabe also sits out the game due to a one match suspension. Dean Clarke however comes back into contention having recovered from injury.
Cork City: City will be hoping to have Karl Sheppard and Conor McCormack back, after both missed the defeat to Bohs. Conor McCarthy is rated as doubtful after picking up an injury in Dalymount. Cian Murphy remains sidelined, while Dan Casey will be assessed ahead of the game having played on Monday after missing the previous three games.
Harry Kenny (St Pat’s): "Cork have picked up a few wins lately and will be tough opponents, but we are just looking to build on last week’s display and if we can do that, hopefully we will pick up the points."
John Cotter (Cork City interim manager): "In our (previous) game up there, they scored from a penalty. It was a soft penalty from our side but in fairness they dug in and held on to get a good three points on the opening day.
"We know it’ll be a tough game up there; we’ll have to be at our best and play well. We’ll be concentrating on ourselves, but it’ll be a very tough game up there."