League Preview: Dundalk -v- Bray Wanderers

Fri, May 25 2018

Dundalk were 2-0 winners the last time the sides met at the Carlisle Grounds. Credit: Al Robinson

DUNDALK

Top meets bottom in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division onFriday night as Dundalk take on crisis club Bray Wanderers at Oriel Park (kick-off 7.45pm).

The Lilywhites will be anxious to avoid a repeat of the scoreless draw the last time these sides met at this venue on the opening night of the season.

Dundalk won their fifth match on the bounce in all competitions and maintained their two-point advantage at the top of the table on Monday night following an impressive 2-0 win over Waterford.

“It was a good win for us on Monday,” said striker Marco Tagbajumi, who scored his first league goal for the club in stoppage time after coming off the bench in that hard-fought win over the Blues.

“I am happy that we got the win. The most important thing is that we are winning matches and that makes everybody happy. It keeps us at the top of the table which is where we want to be.

“It’s always good to keep that distance and it was an important win for us against one of our rivals in Waterford.

“I have been waiting for the first goal for a while since I got here. I have been here three months and to get my first in the league is great for me. The first goal was always going to be the hardest to get.

“I am happy just to get it out of the way and hopefully I can get a few more now. I want to help the team in any way I can and scoring goals so hopefully I can kick on now.

“We have been on a good run and we have to keep it up. We can’t let it go now and we have to keep going until the break so we can have a small rest.

“We have to go again against Bray Wanderers. They have given us tough games this year so it won’t be easy but we are ready and we are looking to get another three points at home and we are in good form.”

John Mountney faces up to two months on the on the treatment table due to a recurring knee problem, while Sean Gannon and Karolis Chvedukas also remain injured.

Captain Stephen O’Donnell will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a broken leg earlier this month.

 

BRAY WANDERERS

Rooted to the bottom of the league with just two wins from their 19 matches so far, Bray Wanderers will need to take some inspiration from their 0-0 draw on their last trip to Dundalk back in February.

The Seagulls' wretched run of form continued earlier in the week when they succumbed to a 15th defeat of the season when Aaron McEneff’s double secure a 2-0 win for Derry City at the Brandywell.

One thing that will cause some concern for Dundalk however, is that five of Bray’s eight points have come against sides in the top four, while the other three came after a 1-0 win over Shamrock Rovers.

Bray Wanderers have not released any team news ahead of this fixture so far.

 

Referee: Robert Harvey

 

MATCH FACTS

Friday’s match will represent the 73rd meeting between the sides and Dundalk have the upper hand, winning 34 of those encounters to Bray’s 21 since their first meeting back in the 1985/86 season.

The Seagulls have not scored a goal in any of their previous four meetings with Dundalk – their last came through Ryan Brennan (now with St Patrick’s Athletic) in a 3-1 victory back in April 2017.

Dundalk quartet Gary Rogers, Dane Massey, Chris Shields and Dylan Connolly have all previously played for Bray Wanderers while John Sullivan and Jake Kelly both have had spells at Oriel Park.

 

BETTING

Dundalk 1/8; Draw 15/2; Bray Wanderers 18/1.

PREDICTION

Dundalk 3-0 Bray Wanderers

 

Dundalk

Injured: John Mountney, Sean Gannon, Karolis Chvedukas, Stephen O’Donnell.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

 

Bray Wanderers

Injured: Unknown.

Doubtful: Unknown.

Suspended: None.