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5 Things To Look Out For In Week 8 Of The SSE Airtricity League

By John Dodge
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Double weeks are finished so only one set of games from Week 8 of the SSE Airtricity League to preview today. Here's what you should be looking out for;

1) Will either of the top 2 slip up?

Darren Meenan slips up. See what we did there? - David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Cork City and Dundalk are level on 20 points at the head of the Premier Division table (Cork have played a game less).  Tonight they bought face teams from the bottom 4 with 9 points. Dundalk look to have the tricker tie as they travel to Bray Wanderers.  Bray are no pushovers and have already beaten Sligo in the Carlisle Grounds this season. With Dundalk missing captain Stephen O'Donnell for the season, how they react will tell manager Stephen Kenny a lot about his squad. Cork host Bohemians looking to keep their unbeaten home run (stretching back to June) in tact.  They're sure to have a bog crowd backing them anyway.

2) Will Athlone Town get their first point away to the Champions?

At it's core, football is chaos.  Structures help, but thankfully, freak results happen all the time.  Football fans know this and while logic tells you that even though St Pats have a far superior squad to Athlone, and Athlone have yet to win a point, an Athlone win/draw this evening wouldn't be ridiculous. Athlone's form has picked up and they should have had a point in each of their last two games. Logic has no place in football so expect to hear plenty of talk of them being "due" a result too.  Pats, on the other hand, have won 4 straight league games.  If Chris Forrester maintains his recent form, St Pats *should* have no problem.

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3) Are Shamrock Rovers about to go on a run?

Ronan Finn and Rovers on a run, See what we did there (part II)? - Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Shamrock Rovers, most unlike them, have gone about their business pretty quietly recently.  They're only 3 points off the lead and tonight travel to a Drogheda United team who have lost their last 3.  Rovers next 5 games are all against teams below them in the table and all very winnable.  If they manage to win all of those, they're more than likely going to be top of the league as the other challengers play each other.  Drogheda will be smarting from that 4-0 defeat at home to Pats last Monday so are unlikely to make it easy for Rovers.


4) Can Sligo Rovers breakdown Limerick and continue their comeback?

12 goals in 3 league and cup wins for Sligo Rovers in the past 2 weeks show that their early season goalscoring troubles are over. Danny North got off the mark against Bohs on Monday and his form/fitness are very important to Sligo's chances with recent signings Eric Odhiambo and Sean Maguire struggling. They'll face one of the toughest defences in the league tonight as they travel to Thomond Park to play Limerick.  Any win for Sligo Rovers will be enough to seem them get closer to the top end of the table.

5) Can anyone stop Shelbourne in the First Division


With a quarter of the First Division done, Shelbourne lead by 7 points. Longford have played a game less but John McDonnell's young team have been the class of the division so far. They travel to Wexford Youths tonight looking to keep their unbeaten run going. Longford host Galway knowing they can't afford to drop any more points in their quest for promotion. The winner of Waterford United v Finn Harps may be well placed to launch a promotion run too.

Whatever happens, enjoy the games!

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