Winless Athlone take on champions St Patrick’s Athletic
Kenny Browne (left) returns to the St Patrick’s Athletic defence to face struggling Athlone Town at Inchicore tonight, while Jason Byrne (right) should start for Bohemians against Cork City at Turner’s Cross. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
“It’s a huge ask to go to Richmond Park and get a result, but we’re well capable of doing it.”
A most upbeat sentiment from Athlone Town manager Mick Cooke ahead of their trip in-form champions St Patrick’s Athletic, but not one shared by the bookmakers, who have the league’s pointless bottom side at 18/1 to win in Inchicore.
Selection difficulties continue to undermine Cooke’s hopes of getting off the mark as injured defenders Aidan Collins and Neil Harney are joined on the sidelines tonight by the suspended Seán Byrne, though goalkeeper Paul Skinner, Derek Prendergast and Alan Byrne return from bans.
Kenny Browne is back from suspension for St Patrick’s, though fellow central defender Ken Oman is out with a back injury.
Leaders Cork City are without defender Darren Dennehy (suspended) and midfielder Darren Murphy (hamstring) for the visit of struggling Bohemians to Turner’s Cross.
Cork boss John Caulfield should have veteran midfielder Colin Healy back in from the start, while fullback Brian Lenihan requires a fitness check.
Jason Byrne is set to start up front for Bohemians.
Back from suspension
Bray Wanderers have defender Dave Webster back from suspension but remain without Danny O’Connor, Shane O’Connor, Shane Byrne and Jake Kelly for the visit of second-in-the-table Dundalk to the Carlisle Grounds.
Shamrock Rovers welcome captain Conor Kenna back to their central defence following suspension for the trip to Drogheda United, though winger Seán O’Connor (hamstring) and striker Dean Kelly (calf) are unavailable.
Goalkeeper Michéal Schlingermann, Austin McCann and Eric Foley are out injured for Drogheda.
Sligo Rovers are likely to be unchanged for their visit to Thomond Park to take on Limerick.
Limerick central defender Mick Leahy has suffered a set-back with his groin injury and remains out along with winger Danny Galbraith.
Derry City boss Roddy Collins is again unlikely to start Rory Patterson, the top scorer in the league last season, after criticising the striker’s lack of work rate during the week.
(7.45 unless stated)
Bray Wanderers v Dundalk
Home: 6/1, Draw: 10/3, Away 4/9
Cork City v Bohemians
Home: 4/7, Draw: 14/5, Away: 5/1
Derry City v UCD
Home: 1/2, Draw: 3/1, Away: 11.2
Drogheda United v Shamrock Rovers
Home:17/4, Draw: 13/5, Away: 4/6
Limerick v Sligo Rovers
Home: 13/2, Draw: 3/1, Away: 40/85
St Patrick’s Athletic v Athlone Town
Home: 1/8, Draw: 7/1, Away: 18/1
Waterford United v Finn Harps
Home: 10/11, Draw: 12/5, Away: 11/4
Wexford Youths v Shelbourne (8.0)
Home: 11/4, Draw: 12/5, Away: 10/11