Five things to look out for this weekend in the League of Ireland

15th November 2023

Shamrock Rovers are kicking into gear. Shels held the defending Champions to a draw at Tolka Park earlier this season and might even have knicked it towards the end of a draining 90 minutes.

Can Shels stop Shamrock Rovers push back to the top of the table?

Shamrock Rovers are kicking into gear. Shels held the defending Champions to a draw at Tolka Park earlier this season and might even have knicked it towards the end of a draining 90 minutes but they will face a different Rovers this weekend live on RTÉ2 television. 

The Hoops have rediscovered their form with a 4-0 away win over Dundalk and a convincing 2-0 win over Bohs last weekend before dismantling UCD 3-0 on Monday. No goals conceded – nine scored. 

Shels have bounced back from a disappointing 0-0 draw at UCD on Friday before beating Sligo Rovers 2-1 last Monday with a much improved second half display but will their squad hold up to a mounting injury list? Mark Coyle went off with a muscular injury on Monday while Luke Byrne has been nursing ongoing niggles on top of missing Sean Boyd long term. 

They will rely on Jack Moylan and Matty Smith to derail their historic Ringsend rivals’ title charge but know a win would cause serious debate about a European push. 

Stephen Bradley, however, has been enjoying remarkable form from the likes of Jack Byrne, Graham Burke and Neil Farrugia – who Bradley says is not far off an Ireland call up. 

Can Bohs keep this form going? 

The automatic assumption after Bohs losing on Friday against fierce rivals Shamrock Rovers was that they might struggle in Derry but they put that quickly to bed with an impressive 1-0 win and ended the weekend with a six point advantage at the top of the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division. 

With St Pat’s coming into this highly anticipated Dublin City Derby, the stage really is set to see who may become the lead challengers to Shamrock Rovers’ crown. 

Tim Clancy was just two weeks ago fighting off a disgruntled fanbase but now after three games in seven days comes to Dalymount Park on Friday filled with confidence. 

Chris Forrester has been enjoying a rich vein of form again and the battle between him and Ali Coote may be key to deciding this. 

A Bohs win would further cement their growing title challenge and they will be backed by another sold-out Dalymount Park crowd. 

In such a tight league this year, however, gaining four wins in a row would add fuel to a possible challenge in Inchicore this year. Watch the game live on LOITV on Friday at 19:45. 

Who will stop Galway United’s dominance? 

Straight after securing an historic eight wins in a row, Galway United will aim to make it a 100% record in their first series of games which is an almightly gauntlet to lay down to the rest of the SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division. 

Second best thus far has been Bray Wanderers led by Ian Ryan and the two come head to head this Friday night at Eamonn Deacy Park. 

With Waterford coming into the Keith Long and Alan Reynolds era with two straight wins, Galway know the pressure is on but Bray will fancy themselves as contenders this year and will look to put a halt to John Caulfield’s march to the title. 

As the old saying goes, it’s a marathon and not a sprint and we’re just a quarter of the way through the season now. Any slip up may give fresh impetus to both Bray and Waterford looking to reel the early leaders in. 

Waterford welcome Kerry to the RSC in what will be a large task for the newcomers but one must not expect Waterford to let up in their search for the title. 

Can Finn Harps kick-start their push for the play-offs with a win?

After nearly completing a full round of games in his first season charge, Dave Rogers will have had good time with his young squad and will now be looking to put development into results. 

A Club and its supporters used to the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division, and with ambitions to return, results will become the name of the game in Donegal and this fixture could be labelled as a must win for his young side. 

Treaty United, however, will be smarting after a remarkable 3-2 win last week over Longford Town and will be looking to build on this with an away win to back it up and helpt their cause for a promotion push heading into the next round of games. 

It’s been an unsettled start for the Limerick side but the manner of the thrilling win last week may breed fresh impetus to their campaign this season. Another win on the bounce will have all the necessary impact to energise the second quarter of their season. 

The return of the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division 

With Ireland returning from an impressive two displays against the USA over the past week, the attention now turns to the domestic front and the thrilling title race we have in store. 

Top of the bill will be Athlone Town and Wexford Youth’s showdown on TG4 on Saturday night as both sides look to stake their claim to join Shamrock Rovers, Shels and Peamount United in the early hunt for the title. 

Shels will be pleased to have won convincingly in Peamount last time out and will be looking to follow up with the three points on Saturday against a Treaty United side buoyed by their first win in recent weeks. 

Shamrock Rovers, meanwhile travel to Galway United who have produced brilliant performances already and may be a potential barrier to Shamrock Rovers’ hunt for a title in their first season back. 

Tara O’Hanlon will no doubt be looking to build on her fantastic week in the USA with a win for Peamount United away to Cork City as they look bounce back after the loss to Shels. 

With the second live game of the season on TG4 this Saturday night, Athlone Town are hoping the big occasion can offer a chance for them to find the form of 2022 again as both themselves and Wexford Youths will be in big need of the three points as their rivals look to extend the gap over the pair. Watch it live at 19:35! 

Full Fixture list 

SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division

Friday, 14 April, 2023

Bohemians v St Patrick’s Athletic – 19:45
Shamrock Rovers v Shelbourne – 19:45 (LIVE ON RTÉ2)
UCD v Cork City – 19:45

Saturday, 15 April, 2023

Sligo Rovers v Drogheda United – 19:45

Sunday, 16 April, 2023

Dundalk v Derry City – 15:00

SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division

Friday, 14 April, 2023

Athlone Town v Cobh Ramblers – 19:45
Galway United v Bray Wanderers – 19:45
Waterford v Kerry – 19:45
Finn Harps v Treaty United – 20:00

Saturday, 15 April, 2023

Longford Town v Wexford 

SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division

Saturday, 15 April, 2023

Shelbourne v Treaty United – 14:00
DLR Waves v Sligo Rovers – 14:00
Cork City v Peamount United – 17:00
Galway United v Shamrock Rovers – 17:00
Wexford Youths v Athlone Town – 19:35 (LIVE ON TG4)