Derby weekend preview for the League of Ireland

15th November 2023

Can Bohs find the goals to get the win that matters most? By laws of averages, the four meetings between two historic rivals in a year will go back and forth but Shamrock Rovers will be hoping to make it three from three on Friday night.

Can Bohs find the goals to get the win that matters most?

By laws of averages, the four meetings between two historic rivals in a year will go back and forth but Shamrock Rovers will be hoping to make it three from three on Friday night as they travel to Phibsborough. 

Bohs have enjoyed a good season so far though and they will want to mark a strong first half of the season with the one win that matters most. 

Both games so far have been tight with Shamrock Rovers showing their experience and clinical edge in taking both games in 2-0 wins. 

They know that Bohs will be there in waiting if they are to drop their standards and the packed Dalymount in front of RTÉs cameras will be waiting for a big summer night in Dublin 7. 

The question remains where will Bohs’ goals come from? They have threats in Ali Coote and Jordan Flores from set pieces but in truth, Declan Devine will be hoping for more from his strikers. 

Could this be the game where Jonathan Afolabi becomes a Bohs hero? 

Can Shels turn the Derby tide in Inchicore?

A second Dublin Derby will take place just on the other side of the Liffey on Friday night where a reengerised rivalry between St Pat’s and Shels takes place with the race for European football taking centre stage. 

If Shels are to be serious in their bid for continental football next season, they will need to avoid a third defeat in a row to their Inchicore rivals. 

Both games have been seriously tight with two corners winning it in the end for Jon Daly’s men and they will be looking to return home with another three points on Friday.

Their last two outings in Richmond Park have been memorable occasions with a 2-1 win over Dundalk with ten men and a whopping 4-1 win over title challengers Derry City. 

Damien Duff knows his side will be up against it but travel to Dublin 8 with the best defence in the league. It’ll be up to Jack Moylan and a returning Sean Boyd to turn the screw here and put their hands up for the trip abroad next summer. 

Can Galway United secure their path to redemption?

Galway United have one hand on the SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division title and know that if they can navigate the next round of games with their lead still intact they will be nearly back in the big time. 

Their only defeat so far has come at the hands of Longford Town and the Midlands side travel to Eamonn Deacy Park looking to build on their own promotion hope and get another win over John Caulfield’s side. 

The Tribesmen have been nearly flawless all season and will want to keep their lead over a strong Waterford side in tact as they come into the Sports Direct Men’s FAI Cup. 

They will fancy their chances in this year’s competition with a strong side and by keeping their number one priority in good order they can turn their sights to putting together a nice Cup run. 

Complacency may be their biggest threat at the moment but so far they have not their exceptional standards slip and will not want to be starting now with a second loss to Stephen Henderson’s men. 

Longford Town have enjoyed a strong second quarter of the season, however, and will have their eyes set on a Promotion Play-Off spot as we get into the second half of the season. 

Can Drogheda United pick up where they’ve left off?

The last time these local Louth rivals met in Weavers Park, Drogheda United came out thinking how did they manage to lose it. 

A brilliant penalty save from Nathan Sheppard rounded off a night of missed chances and Friday night represents their opportunity to gain revenge of their local rivals in their own backyard. 

They will attempt to do so on the back of a stunning 2-1 win over St Patrick’s Athletic and thus will be full of confidence. 

Though Dundalk came away from Turner’s Cross with all three points they are in the middle of a sticky patch at the moment but will be hoping the chance to recharge their batteries last week will give them fresh impetus ahead of the Derby. 

They will be looking to the market once more following the departure of Wasiri Williams but Stephen O’Donnell’s men will need to be on high alert as Freddie Draper goes from strength to strength. 

The young striker is showing all the results of his early season promise and since that penalty miss he has kicked on with some remarkable goals to see him fly up the goal scoring charts. 

Another goal or two tomorrow could solidify him as a firm Drogheda United favourite in the game that matters most in the town. 

Who can line up a place in the Avenir Sports All-Island Cup Semi-Finals?

Qualification will be the aim of the game this weekend for those Clubs who opened their Avenir Sports All-Island Cup campaigns with a win this weekend.

With wins for Shelbourne, Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians, Crusaders, Galway United, Cliftonville and Cork City, all six will know that a win will put them in pole position for safe passage into the Semi-Finals. 

Given all teams just play eachother the once, and just one team progresses from each group, it is also a weekend of must win games for the likes of Peamount United, Linfield and Athlone Town who will hope to join them. 

Given what’s at stake, the tie of the round may come in Tolka Park as Jessie Stapleton bids farewell to the Reds with what she hopes is an important and decisive win over the Blues. 

The Shels star is on her way to West Ham United but leaves with a whole host of trophies already in her short career. 

The pressure will be on Linfield to try get a win on the road to keep their hopes alive of a strong run in the new competition. 

We also have a cracking tie in Greenogue as Glentoran travel to the leaders of the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division in search of three points that could see them set up a grand-stand finish with Shamrock Rovers. 

In what really is the group of death in the cross-border competition, both Wexford Youths and Shamrock Rovers will face off needing the win to keep their hopes alive. 

Friday, 23 June, 2023 – 19:45

SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division 

Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers 
Derry City v Cork City
Drogheda United v Dundalk
St Patrick’s Athletic v Shelbourne 
UCD v Sligo Rovers 

SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division 

Athlone Town v Treaty United
Bray Wanderers v Kerry
Cobh Ramblers v Waterford 
Galway United v Longford Town
Finn Harps v Wexford - 20:00

Avenir Sports All-Island Cup

Group A

Saturday, June 24

Group A

Shelbourne v Linfield – 2pm
Galway United v Athlone Town – 5pm

Group B

Saturday, June 24
Peamount United v Glentoran – 2pm
Wexford Youths v Shamrock Rovers – 6pm

Group C 

Saturday, June 24
Bohemians v Cliftonville – 6pm
Sion Swifts v Sligo Rovers – 2pm

Group D 

Saturday, June 24 
DLR Waves v Crusaders – 4pm
Treaty United v Cork City – 5pm