League Preview: Bohemians -v- Finn Harps

Fri, May 31 2019

Bohemians' Danny Mandroiu and Harps' John Kavanagh in action during the sides' opening-day meeting at Dalymount Park. Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)

BOHEMIANS

Bohemians welcome bottom-placed Finn Harps to Dalymount Park with their eyes on ending a run of five league games without a win (kick-off 7.45pm).

The Gypsies returned to winning ways on Monday night with a 2-0 EA Sports Cup win over Cork City, but they’ve lost four of their last five league outings.

Goals from full debutant Ross Tierney and Danny Mandroiu saw Keith Long’s much-changed side book a league cup semi-final with Dundalk on Monday.

League form has been much more worrying, however, and a 2-1 home defeat to Sligo Rovers last Friday saw them drop to within a point of fourth-placed Derry City.

With Derry’s game against UCD postponed due to internationals, Bohs will hope to extend the gap back to four points against a side they’ve narrowly beaten twice so far.

“Harps have been on a good run of form and our previous games this season have been very close affairs and tonight we expect nothing different,” Long told the club’s website.

“Our performances in my view deserved more from recent games and the players are putting in a huge amount of effort and are playing well.

“Performances have been good and the bigger picture for us is that we currently sit in third place in the table going into the third phase of games.

”We have a young team who are developing very well. We know we can be better and we know what’s required to get more from games.

“We may not win every game but we understand what we need to do in order to try and win.”

Robbie McCourt has joined a lengthy injury list consisting of Dinny Corcoran, Rob Cornwall, Danny Grant and Cristian Magerusan, but Keith Buckley may return.

Conor Levingston returns from a one-game suspension but Derek Pender sits the game out with a ban, while Darragh Leahy is away with the Ireland under-21s.

FINN HARPS

Finn Harps returned to the bottom of the Premier Division table on goal difference following last Friday night’s 4-0 defeat away to local rivals Derry City.

Ollie Horgan’s side moved narrowly above the Students with a win over Waterford two weeks ago, but conceded seven in two games to Shamrock Rovers and Derry.

The Donegal side fared much better in Monday’s EA Sports Cup game, which was also in Derry, but lost 2-1 after extra time despite taking a second-half lead through Nathan Boyle.

David Parkhouse scored late on before adding a second early in extra time, and Mark Coyle was shown a second yellow card as Harps ran out of legs in extra time.

“Bohs will be hurting after losing at home to Sligo last Friday night, so that won’t make our job of getting a result any easier,” Horgan told the club’s media team.

“They will be looking to consolidate their third place in terms of Europe qualification and we’re in a mighty battle just to try and stay in the Premier Division.

“Bohemians have a very good squad and have done really well for most of the season so far.

“We have lost to them twice already this season. While both results were only 1-0, the reality is that we have no points against them.”

Harry Ascroft, Gareth Harkin, Mark Timlin, Ciaran Gallagher, Michael Gallagher and John Kavanagh are all injured, while Boyle is a doubt after being forced off on Monday.  

Coyle is suspended following his sending-off against Derry, but Jacob Borg and Sean Boyd return from a ban and being cup-tied respectively.

Referee: Graham Kelly

MATCH STATS

The teams have met twice in the league this season, with Bohemians winning 1-0 on each occasions.

Dinny Corcoran scored the only goal when the sides met in Dalymount on the opening day, and Danny Grant scored the winner in Finn Park in April.

BETTING

Bohemians 2/5; Draw 7/2; Finn Harps 13/2.

PREDICTION

Bohemians 0 – 0 Finn Harps

Bohemians

Injured: Dinny Corcoran (foot), Rob Cornwall (achilles), Danny Grant (hamstring), Cristian Magerusan (cruciate), Robbie McCourt (ankle).

Doubtful: Keith Buckley (leg).

Suspended: Derek Pender.

Unavailable: Darragh Leahy (international duty).

Finn Harps

Injured: Harry Ascroft, Gareth Harkin, Mark Timlin, Ciaran Gallagher, Michael Gallagher, John Kavanagh.

Doubtful: Nathan Boyle.

Suspended: Mark Coyle.