League Preview: Bohemians -v- Dundalk

Fri, Oct 11 2019

The sides met in the EA Sports Cup earlier in the season Credit: John-Paul McGinley (ETPhotos)

BOHEMIANS
Keith Long's Bohemians side will this evening look to take one step closer to securing European football for next season when they welcome 2019 league champions Dundalk to Dalymount Park this evening (kick-off 7.45pm).
 
The Gypsies are currently two points clear of Derry City and more importantly five points clear of cross city rivals St. Pats with just three league game remaining for all sides.
 
Earning European football in the coming weeks would be a huge boost for everyone involved at Bohemians and would represent significant progress for Keith Long’s young side this season.
 
A 1-0 win over Cork City last Friday night was the perfect response following their recent FAI Cup semi-final defeat to arch rivals Shamrock Rovers and with that game put firmly behind them the focus now turns to ending the season strongly and securing that vital European place.
 
A third or fourth place finish would secure European football next season as a result of both Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers reaching this year’s FAI Cup final. With the Lilywhites and the Hoops set to secure European qualification as a result of finishing first and second respectively in the league, the final European place available goes to the team that finishes fourth in the league table.
 
Keith Long will continue to plan without long term absentees Dinny Corcoran and Cristian Magerusan with Keith Buckley and Conor Levingston also doubtful for the game.
 
Darragh Leahy misses out with an ankle injury and while Danny Mandroiu is away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland under-21 side he was set to miss this match anyway due to suspension.
 
Dawson Devoy and Ross Tierney have been excused from the Ireland under-19sS game against Denmark tonight and will link up with Tom Mohan’s side ahead of Monday’s friendly.
 
 
DUNDALK
The Lilywhites are still on track for a historic domestic treble having secured their place in the FAI Cup final two weeks ago with a victory over Sligo Rovers.
 
They have already won the 2019 league title and the EA Sports Cup while they will face Shamrock Rovers in the FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium next month.
 
Ahead of tonight’s game they currently sit an impressive 17 points clear at the top of the table with three league fixtures left to play.
 
They followed up their FAI Cup semi-final victory over Sligo Rovers with a narrow 1-0 league win over Derry City last weekend.
 
Speaking ahead of this evening's fixture midfielder Robbie Benson said that after a tough season personally he is working towards peaking for the FAI Cup final and was also full of praise for his team-mates for their achievements to date so far this season.
 
“There have been plenty more downs than ups this year for me personally” said Benson. “It is unfortunate but in the greater scheme of things - if you offered me to be in this position after all the injuries that I have had then I would have taken it.
 
"It is always been about the team and I will sacrifice myself for the team always. I would have done that at the start of the year.
 
"It has been a successful year and to play in the big games I have after the injury has been brilliant for me. I have got back to sharpness as quickly as I could have hoped and I have been featuring regularly over the past few weeks which I am delighted about.
 
"I have been back in without any setbacks the past few weeks. Going into the final that is good for me and I hope to have 3-4 weeks of training and matches to reach my peak for the final."
 
The Lilywhites are currently unbeaten domestically in 31 matches stretching all the way back to April.
 
Referee: Graham Kelly 
 
MATCH STATS
These two sides have met on three occasions in the league to date this season. Dundalk have come out on top in all three meetings between the sides (1-0, 2-0 and 2-1). They also met in the EA Sports Cup semi-final with Dundalk winning 6-1 on the night.
 
Pat Hoban is Dundalk’s top league goal scorer as the league winds down in the coming weeks with 13 league goals to his name
 
Daniel Mandroiu tops the list for Bohs with ten league goals for the Dublin side
 
PREDICTION
Bohemians 1-2 Dundalk
 
Bohemians
Injured: Darragh Leahy (ankle), Andy Lyons (knee), Dinny Corcoran (ankle), Cristian Magerusan (cruciate)
Doubtful: Keith Buckley (hamstring), Conor Levingston (groin)
Suspended: Danny Mandroiu
 
Dundalk
Injured: John Mountney (foot), Patrick McEleney (hamstring)
Doubtful:  Unknown
Suspended: None