Three key points to look out for this weekend

20th September 2023

Galway United set to secure title. The TV cameras are ready for the first League title to be won on Friday night at Mounthawk Park as Galway United are just one point away from their return to the promised land. 

Galway United set to secure title

The TV cameras are ready for the first League title to be won on Friday night at Mounthawk Park as Galway United are just one point away from their return to the promised land. 

In what has been an up and down few years at Eamonn Deacy Park, there has surely not been a better week to be a fan of the Maroon Army in recent memory. 

A night for the ages on Friday night against Dundalk in the Sports Direct Men’s FAI Cup has led to John Caulfield’s men dreaming of the Aviva Stadium and not only the top flight next year. 

That second dream is about to become a serious reality where they are heavily fancied to take at least a point against Kerry who have the Virgin Media Two cameras en route to bring us clips of the action unfolding during their broadcast of St Patrick’s Athletic and Dundalk on Friday night. 

No one can argue against how worthy the Tribesmen have been this year of the SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division crown and boast a 100% home record coming into an exciting Semi-Final date with Bohemians too in October. 

A number of star performers have led them down this path with the signing of Brendan Clarke an absolutely huge moment in their way to the top while continuosly exceptional performances from Stephen Walsh and David Hurley have brought the goals needed along the way. 

Conor McCormack will have enjoyed this week too, no doubt, having joined the project a couple of years ago and for him to see a packed Eamonn Deacy Park last Friday and the Champions flag this Friday will surely make it all worth it. 

Still - there is a job at hand on Friday night against Kerry who will be hoping to disturb their party at Mounthawk Park in a big way as they look for their first home win. 

The race for Europe heats up

The Virgin Media cameras will, however, be at Richmond Park on Friday for the main event in the race for Europe. 

St Pat’s have a chance to strike a hammer blow to former Manager Stephen O’Donnell’s Dundalk’s chances of Europe on Friday as they welcome the Lilywhites to Inchicore in what has been an absolute cracker everytime they’ve met recently.

The last game here between the sides ended up with O’Donnnell holding his team back until the late hours after ten men St Pat’s won a feisty encounter 2-1 thanks to Conor Carty’s crafty finish and we may be guaranteed more drama again. 

With a replay of last Friday’s Sports Direct Men’s FAI Cup clash between Drogheda United and Bohemians on the cards in Weavers Park and Shelbourne hosting a Cork City side fighting for their lives in Tolka, we are set for a massive night in the European hunt. 

Bohs will be confident of gaining a fifth win in a row against Drogheda while Shels will be hoping for three points in Tolka to set up a classic North Dublin Derby on Monday night in Dalymount with just one point separating the sides as we come into Friday. 

Derry City aiming to keep pressure on at top

After last Friday’s draw at the Brandywell, Derry City will be hoping to keep in touch with Shamrock Rovers who face UCD on Friday. 

Rovers may still drop points but Derry City will know that they need to win on Friday to keep the pressure on Shamrock Rovers and be there in case there are any slip ups. 

Derry will have to do without the suspended Shane McEleney after his late red card on Friday but will be wary of travelling to The Showgrounds following their 1-0 loss there earlier this season which was a major blow in their quest for the title even at that early stage. 

Sligo Rovers only have survival on their minds though and three points would go a long way to securing their future in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division for 2024 as Cork City travel to Shelboure six points behind the Bit O’Red. 

This weekend's games are available on FAI Connect on the App Store or Google Play now.