Pretty unique week for the Airtricity League with all 20 teams in action tonight. Here's what you should look out for in week 12 of the Airtricity League
1) Will Sligo Rovers get back to winning away games and remain on top of the league?
Sligo Rovers started the season with 4 straight away wins including impressive wins in Derry and Dundalk. They lost the 5th game away to St Pat's and since then have drawn woth Shamrock Rovers and Bray Wanderers. With Pats drawing level on points last week (due to Sligo's postponed game), Sligo need to beat Limerick in their first ever game in Thomond Park. Limerick have failed to score in 4 of their 7 home games but have only lost twice, to Pats and Drogheda both with 0-1 scoreline. In fact all 4 of Limerick's defeats have been by a single goal only. Expect a tight game tonight in front of the RTE 2 live TV cameras (ko 7.05pm)
2) Will St Patrick's Athletic get their seventh consecutive away win?
When Shamrock Rovers comfortably beat St Pats in the Saints' first away game this season, few would have guessed that they would go on to win the next 6 away ties. In those 6 ties they have played 5 of the bottom six and face the 6th, Bohemians, tonight in Dalymount Park. Pats won't be taking Bohs lightly however as memories of the recent 1-1 draw in Richmond Park will still be vivid. Pats were missing the highly influential Greg Bolger that Killian Brennan that night and as much of the their tempo is set by these two, they should be much better tonight.
3) Will Dundalk put a stop to UCD's good run and stay in contention?
UCD have 11 points from 14 games, and 10 of those have been earned in the last 5 games. A remarkable turnaround that includes wins over Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians and, most impressively, in Derry. The only team to have earned more points in their last 5 games is their opponent tonight, Dundalk. The Lilywhites have won 4 of their last 5 and sit in 4th place in the table only 6 points behind leaders Sligo Rovers. As you see with many other impressive runs, the 4 Dundalk wins have been against 4 of the bottom 5. Can you guess who the 5th is?
4) Will Shamrock Rovers draw again?
Rovers have a ridiculous 9 draws in 14 games and drew 0-0 with tonight's opponents Shelbourne earlier in the season. They have been faorites in pretty much every one of those games and tonight is no different. Shels come into the game on the back of 3 straight defeats and with as many red cards as points and goals (6 each). Interim boss Kevin Doherty had Shels compete with pats last week for 50 minutes but once they conceded, their heads dropped. If they can frustrate Rovers and the Tallaght crowd for longer tonight, they might just sneak a result. If they do manage a draw, it will leave Trevor Croly with a record of draw 2 of every 3 Rovers games.
5) Can Cork City contain Rory Patterson and Derry City?
In our pre-season preview we wondered if Derry's home form would improve enough for them to challenge for a title. Led by the League's leading goalscorer in Patterson, Derry have scored twice in each of their last 5 home games and sit only a point behind Sligo and Pats. Tonight they face a Jekyll & Hyde Cork City side who have won their last two away games, and lost their last 3 home games. With things so tight at the top, anything less than a Derry win would be a shock.
Whatever happens, enjoy the games!