Five out for Bohs

Defending champions Bohemians will take on Dundalk as they return to Premier Division football tonight at Oriel Park (kick-off 7.35pm).

Defending champions Bohemians will take on Dundalk as they return to Premier Division football tonight at Oriel Park (kick-off 7.35pm).

Paul Keegan, Graham Carey, Joseph Ndo and Matt Gregg will be all hoping to make their competitive debut for Bohs.

The Gypsies must plan without Conor Powell, Sean Byrne, Ken Oman and Jason

Byrne, while Mark Rossiter is struggling with a hamstring strain and is a major concern.

Bohs boss Pat Fenlon said: “Our pre-season went very well. We had no injuries for five weeks but just when a competitive fixture arrives we lose five players.

“I am very happy with some of the younger players graduating from the A championship and U-20’s sides. Ryan McEvoy will be in the squad and several other members of the academy teams will make similar strides this season.

He added: “It goes without saying that the opening fixture will be difficult.

“Dundalk is a football town and the atmosphere in the stadium will be good. We have watched the opposition and while they are not an established team yet, they have enough quality in their ranks to cause us some difficulties.”

Former Bohemians central defender Liam Burns is set to start against his old side as new Dundalk boss Sean Connor looks to get one over on his former employers.

Darren Mansaram is unlikely to be fit to face his former club due to a groin injury, although George O'Callaghan could make his competitive debut.

Dwight Barnett is illegible and will not play as he awaits a work permit.

Manager Sean Connor said: “Bohs are the benchmark for the rest of us on the pitch.

“I know that off the park Dundalk are in better shape than Bohemians. In terms of our supporters and how we are organised off the park we are a better club than Bohs.”

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