Both newly promoted clubs have had a disappointing start to their season in the top flight. City are still without the injured Stephen Mulcahy, Kevin Murray and Neal Horgan although manager Tommy Dunne welcomes back to the squad Kalen Spillane after recovering from a back injury.
“It is still early in the season and there is still a long way to go with plenty of time to climb up the table,” said Dunne.
“When you are in the middle of a rough spell, people need to dig in, do the basics right, work hard and let everyone know in this division that we are here, want to stay and are prepared to fight for it. We must make home advantage count no matter who we are playing and need to get our season going — it is as simple as that”.
Monaghan boss Roddy Collins has Willo McDonagh and Robert Bayly back from injury but Alan Byrne is ruled out.
Leaders Sligo Rovers will be hoping to extend their best start in a league campaign for 75 years when they host Derry City in the North West derby at the Showgrounds.
Joseph Ndo is expected to return after missing Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over Monaghan in the EA Sports Cup. Back also are defenders Jason McGuinness and Mark Quigley.
Shamrock Rovers will be hoping to bounce back after last week’s shock 5-1 defeat by St Patrick’s Athletic when they play host to Dundalk at Tallaght Stadium.
Still ruled out by injury for the Hoops are Kerrea Gilbert, Ciaran Kilduff, Stephen O’Donnell and Conor Winn. But striker Gary Twigg, yesterday named as Airtricity ‘Player of the Month’ for March, is back.
“I was disappointed — to say the least — with that 5-1 defeat by St Patrick’s Athletic. How we respond is very important — we have to be positive, roll up our sleeves and fight for each other,” said Rovers boss Stephen Kenny.
Dundalk must plan without the injured Nathan Murrphy and Mark Griffin. Drogheda United host unbeaten St Patrick’s Athletic at Hunky Dorys Park.
Shelbourne will be without the injured Lorcan Fitzgerald and Stephen Hurley when Bray Wanderers are the visitors to Tolka Park for the second time in four days.
UCD boss Martin Russell has Paul Corry and Gary Brown back in the squad when they entertain Bohemians at the Belfield Bowl. College will be hoping to build on last week’s surprise scoreless draw away to Derry. David Scully is suspended for Bohs.