We're getting close to half way so teams need to start making their charge now. Here's what you should look out for in week 13 of the SSE Airtricity League
1) Can Dundalk march on?
There's no denying Dundalk are on a roll at the moment. 16 goals in their last 4 league games (all wins) have seen them open up a 2 point lead at the top of the league. Tonight they travel to Dalymount Park to face a Bohs side looking for only their 3rd home league win in 20 games (they've lost 11 of the previous 19 too). With Dundalk also playing UCD on Monday, they know that 2 wins puts them firmly in the driving seat for the run in.
2) Are Sligo Rovers out of it already?
Sligo Rovers' defeat to Dundalk last week leaves them 11 points behind the leaders in 5th place. They've already lost 5 times (3 more than any of the top 4) and have a tough tie at home to Shamrock Rovers on Sunday afternoon. They can't afford to drop many more points if they're looking to get back into that top 3. Shamrock Rovers should be happy to be in 3rd at this stage, only 4 points off the top. They haven't beaten any of the other top 4 teams but they did beat Sligo in the first round. A win on Sunday would likely leave 4 teams at the top fighting for the European spots.
3) Can the Champions make a move?
St Pats have dropped 5 points in 2 weeks and they need to make a move if they're to keep pace with Dundalk. They've 2 games at home this weekend (against Derry and Drogheda) and they need to win both before they travel to Oriel Park next week. The Saints defensive issues are clear (more goals conceded now than when they clinched title last year) but they're not the only issues. Their embarrassment of riches in midfield has seen great plyer like Killian Brennan and Greg Bolger miss out. They're going to have to play their part this weekend if the Chapions have any hope of retaining the title.
4) How easy will it be for Cork City?
Athlone may have got their first win of the season last week but they've still lost every away game conceding 17 goals in the 7 games. Maybe they are improving as their last away game was the first time they hadn't conceded at least 2 goals. Cork have yet to fail to score at home this season and they won't expect that to change this evening. Only 2 points behind the leaders, Cork will settle for that going into the break after next week.
5) Will any team start making themselves safe?
Only 3 points separate Derry City in 6th and UCD in 11th. Derry, Bohs and the seemingly-cut-adrift Athlone Town all have games against the top 4 tonight so maybe there's an opportunity for the winners of Drogheda v Limerick and UCD v Bray to make a move? Those 4 sides have 6 wins in total from the last 6 weeks. All 6 wins came at home and in the case of UCD and Drogheda came in their last home game. If they can repeat tonight it'll be a huge help to securing their safety.
Whatever happens, enjoy the games!
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