Byrne out – but Bray can prevail

Bray Wanderers will start slight favourites when they play host to Shelbourne in the pick of tonight’s 11 FAI Ford Cup ties at the Carlisle Grounds (7.05 pm, live on RTÉ 2).

Even with both striker Jason Byrne and central defender Adam Mitchell doubtful, the Seagulls will be determined to put one over a Shels side who disappointed in Monday’s 2-1 league defeat to neighbours Bohemians at Tolka Park.

In the only other all-Premier Division clash, league leaders Sligo Rovers will be hoping to pick themselves up after Monday’s shock 1-0 away defeat to lowly UCD when Monaghan United visit the Showgrounds.

Holders Sligo will be without Romuald Bocco — on international duty with Benin — while both Iarfhlaith Davoren and Joseph Ndo remain injured. But manager Ian Baraclough is pleased with the return of Ross Gaynor and Gavin Peers.

Cork City, with Dan Murray still ruled out with a stomach injury, should be too strong for struggling First Division side Athlone Town at Turner’s Cross.

Shamrock Rovers, seeking a 25th cup success, will be without the suspended Chris Turner and the injured Ciaran Kilduff when First Division Limerick are the visitors to Tallaght Stadium.

Home advantage should prove vital for Drogheda United when Munster Senior League side Mayfield United pitch up at Hunky Dorys Park tonight (7.45pm).

Blarney United have an excellent chance of progressing when Malahide United provide the opposition in the all-non league clash at O’Shea Park this evening.

UCD should have too much know-how for Leinster Senior League side Phoenix, while Derry City will be hot favourites to see off North-West neighbours Finn Harps at the Brandywell. In another derby, SD Galway take on Mervue United.

Premier Division superiority should be enough for both Dundalk and Bohemians in their challenges at home to Leinster Senior League side St Pat’s CY and Ulster Senior League Donegal outfit Drumkeen United respectively.

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