Waterford United -v- LimerickFri, Jul 06 2012
The Regional Sports Centre will host the biggest Munster derby for quite some time when Limerick FC make the trip south to face Waterford United. The game is a must win for both sides, but for United, the three points ensures that they keep within touching distance of both Limerick and Longford Town. A defeat for either side would most likely see their primary aim for the year become a huge uphill task.
Despite an early season stutter, the Blues are in fine form and young Sean Maguire seems to be a real prospect. Having scored in their last three games, Maguire finds himself in very good form ahead of this crucial clash, and will probably be the key should Waterford cause an upset. His strike partner Peter Keegan has also been in fine form lately, and with Limerick captain Paddy Purcell being suspended for this one, United could well use the trickery and pace of their front two to cause havoc, if manager Paul O’Brien opts for a 4-4-2.
Waterford have what seems a never ending list of injuries. Daragh Walshe, Willie John Kiely, Gary Dunphy, Ben Ryan and Aidan McGrath all look set to miss this tie while Seamus Long is suspended for the derby after picking up four yellow cards. Playmaker Gary Dempsey looks as though he will play through a bruised toe thanks to some painkilling injections, and is expected to start for the home side, despite fears earlier on in the week that he would be ruled out.
Having not dropped points in any league game since their defeat at the hands of Waterford over eight weeks ago, Limerick are the form side in the division. While Limerick were many people’s favourites, early losses to Waterford and Longford raised a few eyebrows among Limerick supporters. Lims have bounced back ever since, and have managed to win all but three league games this campaign.
The biggest complaint from the Limerick public had always been the style of football displayed in Jackman Park, but in recent weeks, Pat Scully’s men have certainly encouraged people through the turnstiles with their slick pass and move football.
The recent form of some of Limerick’s younger talents has certainly caught the attention of clubs across the water – Rory Gaffney being the latest name linked to a move to England according to various publications. These young players are turning it on for Limerick this season, and their efforts may well be merited with a promotion at the end of the season should their effort levels remain on a par.
Referee: Keith Callanan.
In what is a startling contrast, Waterford have beaten Limerick on every occasion they have played them this season, while Limerick won every encounter between the teams in the 2011 campaign.
In the sixteen meetings since the clubs renewed the old rivalry for the 2008 season, there was eight penalties awarded in the first eight games - four in 2008, three in 2009, and one in the first game of 2010. Since that match, there has not been a single one in a further eight meetings.
Limerick will not be unhappy that Willie John Kiely is unavailable for the game, as the Blues striker has netted seven times against the Shannonsiders since United returned to the First Division in 2008, including a brace in the 3-1 win at the RSC earlier this season.
Waterford 9/4; Draw 11/5; Limerick 11/10.
If Limerick play as well as they have been recently, they will win this one. 3-1 away win.
Waterford United Injury News: Daragh Walshe, Willie John Kiely, Gary Dunphy, Ben Ryan, Aidan McGrath.
Waterford United Suspension News: Seamus Long.
Limerick FC Injury News: Cian Collins.
Limerick FC Suspension News: Paddy Purcell.
Andrew joined Extratime for the 2010 season and covers all the on-goings down in Limerick. Having first experienced the League of Ireland in 2002, Andrew became hooked, even at such an early age. He is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. You can contact him via Twitter @Cunneen92.