Monday is the final day of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division with a number of permutations when it comes to European qualification and the relegation play-off.

Here we look at why seven of the 10 teams in the division have something important to fight for.

We know that Shamrock Rovers are confirmed as champions, Bohemians have sealed runners-up and Cork City are relegated at the bottom of the table.

The rest will be decided on Monday from 7.30pm.

The fixtures are:

  • Shelbourne v Shamrock Rovers, Tolka Park
  • Finn Harps v Waterford FC, Finn Park,
  • Cork City v Derry City, Turner's Cross
  • Dundalk FC v Sligo Rovers, Oriel Park
  • St Patrick's Athletic v Bohemians, Richmond Park


Dundalk, Waterford FC, Sligo Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic are battling it out for a potential European spot.

There is one variable to consider. Third place is a guaranteed European spot in the SSE Airtricity League but for every season since 2014, fourth spot also qualifies a team based on a top-three side winning the FAI Cup.

This year just Athlone Town, Finn Harps, Derry City and Sligo Rovers can prevent a top-three side winning the Cup.

It means it is likely that fourth will deliver a Europa Conference place in 2021 and is a big consideration in the league finale. 


Dundalk will qualify for Europe if they win or draw against Sligo Rovers in Oriel Park.

Defeat to Sligo and a win for Waterford FC in Ballybofey would move Dundalk to fourth and they would have to wait on the FAI Cup outcome.

A point would be enough for third place due to their superior goal difference, or if Waterford fail to win in Ballybofey.

What they need for Europe

  • Dundalk will finish in the top four regardless.
  • A draw would be enough for third place due to superior goal difference.
  • Any result will be enough for third place in Waterford fail to win in Ballybofey.

Waterford FC

The Blues would seal fourth place with a win in Ballybofey and a potential European spot.

However they could sneak third if Dundalk lose to Sligo. A draw would be enough if Sligo fail to beat Dundalk by two goals or more and St Patrick's Athletic fail to beat Bohemians, 

What they need for Europe

  • A win would guarantee fourth place.
  • A draw would be enough to see off St Patrick's Athletic. Sligo Rovers could overtake them with a two-goal win.
  • A defeat could see Sligo Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic overtake them if they win. 

Sligo Rovers

The Bit O' Red are the outsiders to take fourth place given they face Dundalk in Oriel Park. A narrow win over Cork City two weeks ago has kept them in the mix after stuttering in recent weeks.  

They need to beat Dundalk and hope that Waterford lose in Ballybofey.

If Waterford draw, Sligo need at least a two-goal win against the outgoing champions.

What they need for Europe

  • A win and a Waterford FC defeat.
  • Sligo need a two-goal win if Waterford FC draw and possibly more if Waterford have a high-scoring draw.

St Patrick's Athletic

A point in Tallaght Stadium on Wednesday night kept St Patrick's Athletic's hopes of gaining a European place alive and ended any relegation worries. 

Stephen O'Donnell needs to oversee a victory to give themselves a chance of sneaking into fourth place. 

But it's certainly a live possibility as other results could go in their favour. They need Dundalk to beat Sligo Rovers and Waterford to lose in Ballybofey.

One key aspect could be that Monday's opposition, Bohemians, have little to play for given second place is secure. 

What they need for Europe

  • A win and Waterford FC to lose and Sligo Rovers not to win. The Saints would then finish fourth on goal difference.


Three teams are trying to avoid the play-off with Longford Town for a place in the top flight in 2021.

For a long time it looked like Finn Harps were certainties for ninth place but their resurgence has brought a number of teams into the mix.

There was some nervous clubs watching on as Harps took on Shamrock Rovers last Sunday as a win would have blown the entire race open.

However, that didn’t materialise. Longford will watch on with interest on Monday. 

Finn Harps

The one thing Ollie Horgan’s side know is they need to beat Waterford or they will be finish in ninth place.

If Harps claim three points, they need at least one other result to go their way with Shelbourne and Derry City in the mix. 

What they need to avoid the play-off

  • A win and they must hope that Shelbourne or Derry City lose.
  • If Shelbourne draw, Finn Harps need to beat Waterford by three goals.
  • If Derry City draw, Harps would need to reel in a 10-goal deficit.


It's fair to say the pressure is coming on Shels after a shock 4-1 capitulation against Athlone Town in the FAI Cup. Now with that hanging over them, they take on the Premier Division winners Shamrock Rovers knowing they need to end their unbeaten record to guarantee a place in next year’s top flight.

A draw or defeat for Finn Harps would mean Shels do not have to worry. A draw is likely to be enough as long, assuming Harps fail to win by three goals.  But that is a big assumption on a night like this. Defeat and all eyes will turn to Donegal.

What they need to avoid the play-off

  • A win.
  • Finn Harps not to win. Shelbourne can then afford a loss or defeat.
  • A draw and hope that Finn Harps don't reel in a three-goal deficit. 
  • A draw and Derry City to lose in Cork. 

Derry City

The Candystripes were eventually allowed to play their postponed game with Shamrock Rovers on Saturday. Having had nearly all of their squad in quarantine due to Covid-19 cases and close contacts until the day before, it was no surprise that it was a limp Derry display.

Indeed it may have have been better to accept the defeat given all they gained was a goal in difference when it otherwise would have been a 3-0 defeat awarded against them! 

It means they need a point against Cork City, having played a game just over 48 hours ago. 

One thing in their favour is a goal difference is seven better than Harps and Shelbourne 

But a defeat, a Finn Harps win and a draw for Shelbourne would leave them in the play-off. Declan Devine’s men have the easiest task on paper against relegated Cork.

What they need to avoid the play-off

  • A win.
  • Finn Harps not to win. Derry City can then afford a loss or draw 
  • Shelbourne not to win. Derry City can then afford a loss or draw. 
  • A draw and rely on their superior goal difference at the expense of Shelbourne and/or Harps even if they get a draw and low-scoring win respectively.

It's all that simple. You can watch every game on #WATCHLOI on Monday from 7.30pm.