There might be a sense of deja vu for followers of the domestic game this evening, as we face a repeat of Friday's Extra.ie FAI Cup semi-finals - this time in the SSE Airtricity League.

St Patrick's Athletic are set to host Dundalk, while Waterford will once more make the trip to Dublin to take on Bohemians.

The Richmond Park club now have two chances to qualify for Europe next season. Their 3-1 victory over the Lilywhites in the cup semi means they're just one win away from a place in next year's Europa Conference League via a cup triumph.

Added to that, Sligo's failure to hold out against Finn Harps on Saturday means that Pat's can put some real daylight between themselves and the third placed Bit o' Red with a victory later. The top three are guaranteed European soccer next season, and that might even stretch to the top four depending on who wins the cup.

Either way, Pat's know what they can still achieve this season with the league title now beyond them.

Uncertainty abounds for Vinny Perth and Dundalk

For visitors Dundalk there's a real sense of uncertainty looking ahead. Their hopes of another run in Europe, and all that money that comes with it, are realistically over following their cup exit by the banks of the Camac on Friday.

It's worth repeating that this year's Premier Division winners will receive prize money of €130,000, while the Lilywhites' Europa League run last season was worth around €3million.

There are some fears over PEAK6's involvement in the club after they announced an investment in Premier League club Wolves last week. The US company are known to move around from club to club, having previously been involved with AS Roma, AFC Bournemouth and NHL franchise Minnesota Wild before moving on.

It led manager Vinny Perth to tell LMFM that, "I can't shed any light on anything at the moment. I’m completely in the dark. Myself and the players are effectively out of work in six weeks."

With just fives games left in their season they're just three points clear of the relegation play-off place. All in all the mood music is not good around a club who have won five league titles and three cups since 2014.


Team news

St Patrick's Athletic: Sam Bone returns from a one-match ban with John Mountney set to miss the game with a knee injury.

Dundalk: Brian Gartland, Patrick McEleney and Wilfried Zahibo remain on the long-term injury list.

What they said

Stephen O'Donnell (St Patrick's Athletic manager): "Friday was a great night but it's important that we park that now and finish off the league campaign well. We'll have a look at how the players are across the weekend and make sure everyone is fit and well for another big game."


Georgie Kelly (l) scored the only goal on Friday night

Across town Waterford will be looking to take advantage of Dundalk's woes and gain some revenge for their own cup exit on Friday night, when they take on Bohs.

Last season then, and soon to be again, First Division club Longford Town played Shelbourne, who had finished ninth in the Premier Division, and beat them to gain promotion.

The Blues played UCD in the cup quarter-final at Belfield, so they'll know the potential quality of those clubs in the top half of the First Division - there's not much of a difference in standard, and anything can happen in a one-off game.

As such, none of the three clubs at risk of finishing ninth in the table facing that match - Waterford, Finn Harps or Dundalk - will want to have to do so.

The permutations are different for Bohs. After the high of reaching a first cup final since 2008, Keith Long will have the task of bring his players back down to earth quickly for this second meeting of the sides in four days.

While a cup victory would see the Dalymount Park club back into Europe next season, defeat would leave them depending on a top-four finish in the league. Tonight is their game in hand on fourth-placed Derry City, who they trail by two points.

Their run in the Conference League in the summer was definitely one of the positive stories around the domestic game this season, as they sold out the Covid-limited allocation of tickets for each of their games against Stjarnan, Dudelange and PAOK. Without the budgets of some of the bigger clubs in the league, Bohemians would desperately love to have the chance to embark on a similar run in the summer of 2022.

With Bohs travelling to play Derry in the Ryan McBride Brandywell on Friday, they'll want to be occupying fourth spot ahead of the long trip to the north-west.


Team news

Waterford: Brian Murphy, Niall O'Keeffe and Kyle Ferguson miss out through suspension. Prince Mutswunguma, who picked up an injury on Friday, and Matthew Connor, who picked up a knock in training last week, both miss out.

What they said

Keith Long (Bohemian FC manager): "There's six games left to play in the league and there will be twists and turns. There are points to be won and lost. We have to make sure we're ready to take on Waterford again at Dalymount on Monday."

Marc Bircham (Waterford FC manager): "Friday was tough to take. The penalty, the red cards and the offside goal are hard to take but we've got to get past that and look to the league. We need to make sure we’re focused on the league from now until the end of the season."