Chasing pack bid to reel in leaders Sligo

Drogheda United can move within six points of leaders Sligo Rovers if they beat Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds in the pick of tonight’s programme of Airtricity League Premier Division games (7.45pm).

With Sligo not involved until Monday, the chasing pack can make up much needed ground on Ian Baraclough’s side with just seven matches remaining.

The County Louth men are without the suspended Alan McNally and Gavin Brennan while Bray are also without the banned Jason Byrne and David Webster.

Seagulls boss Pat Devlin acknowledges his side are still not quite out of the relegation play-off place although seven points clear of Dundalk.

St Patrick’s Athletic, now 11 points adrift of Sligo, will be hoping to build on Monday’s 3-0 home win over Derry City when they meet Bohemians at Dalymount Park (7.45pm).

Manager Liam Buckley must plan without the suspended Darren Meenan but Brazilian Hernando Macedo could make his debut.

Bohemians will be minus the injured Owen Heary and Ryan McEvoy but have Kevin Feely back after suspension. Goalkeeper Andy McNulty, who missed last Monday’s 3-1 defeat in Sligo, has a late fitness test.

Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne, who meet in the FAI Ford Cup quarter-finals next Friday at Tolka Park, have a rehearsal of that encounter with their league clash at Tallaght Stadium tonight (8pm).

The Hoops will be without the suspended Billy Dennehy while Graham Gartland and Stephen O’Donnell are both injured. But striker lethal Gary Twigg returns after suspension.

The Reds have three players ruled out by suspension — Kevin Dawson, Gareth Matthews and Brian Shortall. But back after injury come Phil Gorman, Chris Bennion and Ian Ryan.

Cork City make the long journey to the Brandywell to take on Derry City without the suspended Daryl Horgan and the injured John Dunleavy, Colin Healy, Cathal Lordan, Dan Murray and Neal Horgan. But back after suspension are Mark McNulty, Danny Murphy and Vinny Sullivan.

Derry, who will be without the injured Stewart Greacen, are expecting a tough task as matches between the sides are always close affairs.

Tonight’s other game sees bottom two clubs Dundalk and UCD meet at Oriel Park. With five draws and six defeats in their last eleven games, caretaker Dundalk boss Darius Kierans refuses to throw in the towel even though his side are four points adrift of College.

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