National League


Both sides will be looking for some Christmas cheer after indifferent recent form.

Longford have been outplayed in their last two matches while Bohemians' title aspirations have been dampened with just one win in four games.

Bohemians manager Roddy Collins remains desperate to find a wide player. Mark Dempsey has suffered a setback in his recovery from a shin injury, Dave Morrison will be out for a few weeks with a broken leg while a loan move for Austin Berkley from Barnet has fallen through. On the plus side, Darren O'Keeffe and Gary O'Neill are back in the squad. Longford also have their problems with regular full backs Wes Byrne (groin), and Alan Murphy (ankle) joining Paul Perth and Niall Byrne on the injured list while Keith O'Connor will need a late fitness test.

Last two seasons: 1999/2000: Did not meet; 2000/2001: Longford Town 1 Bohemians 6.

Current league form: Bohemians: W D D L W; Longford Town: W W D L L.

Leading league scorers: Bohemians: Crowe (13); Longford Town: Kelly (five).

Referee: J O'Neill (Waterford).

Betting: Home 4/6; Draw 9/4; Away 7/2.

Bohemians' midfielder Stephen Caffrey misses his side's FAI Cup second round meeting with Drogheda United and the following league match at Finn Harps early next month having been given a two-match suspension yesterday for his recent sending off against Shelbourne.

Cork City captain Declan Daly is also out of the all-Premier Division cup clash at Longford Town having received a one-match ban for his red card against Derry City.

Also out of cup games are Galway United's Darragh Sheridan and Billy Clery, Bray Wanderers' Maurice Farrell, Mick O'Donnell (UCD), James O'Callaghan and Paul Shiels of Monaghan United and Shane Doherty of St Francis. Suspensions effective from January 2nd.