Five talking points ahead of the League of Ireland weekend

15th November 2023

Can St Pat’s establish their title credentials? It was only a few weeks ago where pressure was building on St Pat’s at the other end of the table.

Can St Pat’s establish their title credentials?

It was only a few weeks ago where pressure was building on St Pat’s at the other end of the table but such is the tightness in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division this year we are now talking about a possible title challenge from the Saints after four straight wins.

This will be tested on Friday night as Stephen Bradley and his Shamrock Rovers team travel up the Luas line to face their South Dublin rivals. 

The Hoops are in good form but are still catching up after a slow start and know a win is almost a must given they had dropped further points on Friday in the Ringsend Derby. 

There might be no better occasion for Chris Forrester to seal his 300th appearance for St Pat’s then shooting more life into a 2023 title challenge.

Three points on Friday will be a serious statement of intent for a side filled with young and experienced talent. 

A St Pat’s win could also be another massive boost to Bohs who travel to Drogheda United looking to return to winning ways.

Watch it live on LOITV at 19:45 this Friday. 

Will Shels cement any European ambitions on Friday?

Matty Smith told Shels media recently that his team are looking to the European spaces in 2023 which some may say is ambitious talk. 

Having travelled to Tallaght last Friday and nearly taking all three points and beating Sligo Rovers before that, the Reds are looking to build on good performances with a statement win in their bid for Europe.

A win over Dundalk will mark a turn in the recent tide of League of Ireland as they haven’t beaten the Lilywhites since being back in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division. 

If they are serious about about securing a lucrative return to Europe this is the type of game they need to be winning. 

Dundalk for their part will take heart from their second half performance last weekend against Derry City but will know they need a win to turn their recent form around. 

The RTÉ cameras will be there to find out what way it swings. 

Who will claim the first ever Dublin Derby win in the SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division?

One of the biggest games in Irish football opens a new chapter on Saturday as Shamrock Rovers v Bohemians comes to the SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division. 

Tallaght Stadium will be hoping to host a record crowd for the Division as long standing rivals come head to head for the first time in their history in the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division. 

But on the line is the claim to winning the first ever edition. 

Shamrock Rovers dropped points last week away to a strong Galway United squad and will look for all three points as they harbour hopes of a debut title win. 

Bohemians have enjoyed good form before the international break and an idle week so will be raring to go for a massive game in Dublin 24. 

It will be a game that features some massive names too with the likes of Sarah Rowe, Aine O’Gormain and Abbie Larkin who will be likely to put on a show for a big crowd in Tallaght.

Will Kerry banish the ghost of the 9-1?

A harsh lesson in League of Ireland football was handed out the last time Kerry met Galway United with a tough scoreline to take back to the Kingdom. 

With another big crowd expected at Mounthawk Park, Kerry will be looking to make sure to avoid a similar fate against a high-flying Galway United side looking for a 10th win in a row. 

It’s been a remarkable run by the Galwegians who will have their eyes set on Limerick’s Men’s First Division record of 12 wins in a row in 2016. 

Fifteen was the highest ever League of Ireland total set in 1923 by Bohemians 100 years ago so it could be something talked about amongst the Galway players. 

Anything other than a Galway win would be a huge plus for Kerry and with an impressive performance away to Waterford last time out - a shock wouldn’t be ruled out in front of the partisan Kerry crowd. 

How big would it be to abolish the ghosts of a horror game with the biggest result in their short history so far?

Who can make a Play-Off push between Wexford and Finn Harps?

With both sides sitting just outside the Play-Offs after their respective wins last week, Wexford host Finn Harps this Friday with both sides looking to go one more to stake their claim for the Play-Offs.

Both under new management, it has been a process for the two sides in their infancy of their development but we will see on Friday who has gone the furthest as both look to solidify their promotion ambitions.

The two Clubs have posted increased attendances and with new squads, there is an opportunity for them both to build on an increasing supporter base with something to work towards. 

A three points either way will keep both sides’ momentum going into the second series of games and help build the confidence amongst two young sides. 

Full fixtures

SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division 

Friday, 21 April, 2023 - 19:45

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

Saturday, 22 April, 2023 - 19:45 

Sligo Rovers v UCD

SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division 

Friday, 21 April, 2023 - 19:45

Cobh Ramblers v Treaty United 
Kerry v Galway United 
Waterford v Athlone Town
Wexford v Finn Harps

Saturday, 22 April, 2023 - 19:30 

Longford Town v Bray Wanderers

SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division 

Saturday, 22 April, 2023 

Galway United v Sligo Rovers, 17:00
Peamount United v WexfordY Youths, 17:00
Treaty United v DLR Waves, 17:00 
Shamrock Rovers v Bohemians, 17:30 
Athlone Town v Cork City, 19:00