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5 Things To Look Out For In Week 26 Of The SSE Airtricity League

5 Things To Look Out For In Week 26 Of The SSE Airtricity League
By John Dodge

Only five games left for the title contenders. Every one of them huge. Here's the weekly SSE Airtricity League preview.

1) Dundalk won't slip up away to UCD, will they?

EA Sports Cup winners Dundalk look to maintain their three-point gap at the top of the table away to UCD this evening. It's been 18 days since their last league game but they're finished with the cups so will look to wrap up the title asap.  They shouldn't have too much trouble in Belfield as UCD have lost nine of their last 12 (winning only once). Dundalk have scored nine times so far in their two games against UCD and you'd be a brave man to bet against them making it three wins from three.

2) Can Cork City rediscover their scoring boots at home to Sligo Rovers?

Tonight's live TV game (RTE2, KO7.05pm) sees Cork City host Sligo Rovers. Cork are only three points behind Dundalk but their goal difference is vastly inferior (21 goals inferior!).  Cork have only scored two or more goals twice in the last 11 games (and they were 2-2 draws with Bohs and Athlone).  They face a Sligo team with caretaker Gavin Dykes at the helm and with a ton of injury worries.  This game starts a run of three homes games in four for Cork. They can't afford any slip-ups.

3) Will the Dublin derby settle Europe?


St Pats host Shamrock Rovers in Inchicore this evening in a game between third and fourth. Rovers may have a game in hand but they're seven points off the outgoing Champions and know a win for the home side tonight will pretty much guarantee Pats thirdd spot and European football. Both sides were happy to have home draws in the FAI Cup semi finals on Monday and they may well meet again in the final.

4) Relegation looms for Athlone if they don't start winning


Athlone Town are unbeaten in five games. They also haven't won in five games. Time is running out if they're to catch UCD (three points ahead) or Bray (six points ahead). With UCD facing likely defeat against Dundalk, Athlone could actually go off the bottom for the first time this season if they win away to Derry City. Derry's form hasn't been great and Athlone will be hoping they have their focus on the upcoming Cup semi. Bray travel to in-form Drogheda United hoping they've already done enough.

5) Longford and Shels go again.

Only three games left in the First Division and a point separates Longford Town and Shelbourne. Longtime leaders Longford travel to Waterford United and must be confident of another win. Waterford haven't won in 11 games (losing nine of them!).  We have pointed out Longford's ability to choke in this column before though. Shels have the slightly trickier looking tie away to Finn Harps. They've drawn their previous two games with Harps 1-1. There's no room for error tonight.


Whatever happens, enjoy the games!


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