Second-from-bottom Limerick take on the challenge of Bohemians in a crucial encounter in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division at the Market’s Field on Friday evening (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Super Blues will be hoping to boost their hopes of survival by picking up a home win to give the Shannonside faithful some belief that their side can avoid the dreaded drop zone.
Limerick put in a gallant display last Friday night against fellow strugglers Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds by holding them to a 0-0 draw and kept a very precious clean sheet.
Limerick have put in some resilient performances this season in the league but have lacked the killer instinct in front of goal which has seen them register just four league wins so far this season.
The Super Blues have managed a disappointing haul of just 14 goals while defensively they have been equally appalling having shipped 36 goals in their 20 league matches to date.
The most recent of which was the 6-3 drubbing of an impressive Waterford side at the RSC two weeks ago but followed that up with a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Cork City in a Munster derby at the Market’s Field just a few days later.
Limerick are currently in ninth place in the league on 17 points with four wins, five draws and 11 defeats.
Limerick manager Tommy Barrett has a host of injuries to contend with as strikers Connor Ellis (hip), Danny Morrissey (hamstring) and defender Darren Dennehy (ankle) are all sidelined while midfielder Cian Coleman is missing through suspension.
Barrett will also be without the services of winger Henry Cameron who is away on international duty while there are doubts over the fitness of defenders Killian Brouder (ankle) and Billy Dennehy (groin) and midfielders Conor Clifford and Barry Maguire (both hamstring).
Bohs make the long journey along the M7 to the Mid-West with ambitions of putting further daylight between themselves and the bottom two by taking all three points back with them to Phibsborough.
Bohemians left it very late to salvage a 1-1 draw in a tense Dublin derby against fierce rivals Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park last Friday night.
The game had been a very cagey affair throughout with both sides cancelling each other out. The match exploded into life in the last 7 minutes when Ronan Finn put Rovers ahead in the 83rd minute
That looked to have stolen all three points for the Tallaght side until Dan Casey rescued a point for Bohs with a deserved equaliser with just two minutes remaining on the clock.
Bohs manager Keith Long felt that it would have been a travesty if his side had failed to get something from the game.
“There wasn't a huge amount between the sides,” he told the club's official website.
“It wasn't a game of great quality but we dug it out after going a goal down. We would have felt aggrieved had we not got something out of it.
“It means we're positive going into another big game this weekend. The table doesn't lie. There has been very little between ourselves and them, although we were a bit frustrated we didn't go on and win it when they came to Dalymount.
“It's a big game for us. We want to extend the distance between us and the teams below us.”
Bohemians have been very inconsistent in the league recently with just three wins from their last nine outings with victories over Shamrock Rovers (2-1), Sligo Rovers (2-0) and Bray Wanderers (3-1).
Bohs boss Keith Long has a selection headache going into tomorrow night’s game with Colin McCabe (shoulder), Karl Moore (ankle), Darragh Leahy (knee), Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal) and Ryan Swan (cruciate) still in the treatment room.
Long received a boost with the return of experienced midfielder Derek Pender last week, and he is in line to replace Keith Buckley (groin) who is a doubt.
Bohs will also be without Oscar Brennan, who is suspended.
Referee: Tomas Connolly.
Limerick and Bohemians have already clashed twice in the league this season so far with both games ending in draw, 1-1 at the Market’s Field in February and then 0-0 at Dalymount Park in early April.
The Super Blues and Bohs have met each other 15 times in all competitions since 2013 with Limerick having the edge with seven wins to Bohemian’s six, with two draws.
Limerick found the net 16 times, averaging 1.07 per game, while Bohemians scored 18 times, averaging 1.2 per game.
Limerick 13/5 Draw 11/5 Bohemians 10/11
Limerick 1-2 Bohemians
Injured: Connor Ellis (hip), Danny Morrissey (hamstring), Darren Dennehy (ankle).
Doubtful: Killian Brouder (ankle), Darren Dennehy (groin), Conor Clifford (hamstring), Barry Maguire (hamstring).
Suspended: Cian Coleman.
Injured: Colin McCabe (shoulder), Karl Moore (ankle), Darragh Leahy (knee), Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal), Ryan Swan (cruciate).
Doubtful: Keith Buckley (groin).
Suspended: Oscar Brennan.