St Patrick’s Athletic go into their Dublin derby with Shamrock Rovers still mathematically in contention for the eircom League of Ireland crown but even the most hardline Saints supporter will realise that the best their side can hope for is second place – a spot Bohemians will also be aiming for as they make the trip north to take on Derry City.
With four games remaining, Cork City currently occupy the runners-up spot but it could be all chance on Friday, with the Leesiders travelling to United Park to take on champions-elect Drogheda and third and fourth meeting at Richmond Park.
Saints could be without first-choice goalkeeper Barry Ryan, who was injured against Sligo Rovers last weekend, so Brendan Clarke is in line to deputize.
Rovers, meanwhile, are without full back Ger O’Brien and winger David Cassidy so manager Pat Scully will have to perform some surgery on the right flank of his side.
Bohs are in fifth place at the moment but are just four points behind Cork and could also take a huge step towards a creditable second place finish if they can continue their good form with a win in Derry.
Manager Sean Connor must plan without centre half Jason McGuinness and full back Des Byrne, who are suspended, and midfielder John Paul Kelly (hamstring) as Bohs aim to exact some measure of revenge on Derry for their League Cup final defeat at the same venue earlier this month.
Derry are still without star man Paddy McCourt and defensive duo Ken Oman and Sean Hargan.
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