League Preview: Limerick -v- Bray Wanderers

Fri, Jun 29 2018

LIMERICK

Troubled Limerick host bottom-place Bray Wanderers in what could be one of the pivotal games in both sides' seasons (kick-off 7.45pm).

Just six points separate the sides going into the game and that could increase to nine – or drop to as little as three – depending on how the 90 minutes pan out.

Limerick's preparation for the game has hardly been ideal, with Conor Clifford, Daniel Kearns, Mark O'Sullivan and Henry Cameron leaving the club by mutual consent.

Well-documented financial problems at the Markets Field have led the four players to cut their ties, while more departures can't be ruled out in the coming weeks.

They face a resurgent Bray side who, under former Blues boss Martin Russell, have added quality to their ranks and seen results gradually improve.

“We still have a strong team going out on the pitch and we will be aiming for the three points,” manager Tommy Barrett told the club's website.

“Hopefully, we can get level with Bohemians and keep in touch with the teams above us in the table. As always, we’ll go and do our best.

“It would be great to win, obviously. We will be hoping for a better showing than that against Shamrock Rovers before the break.

“We need to create more chances, take them and stop conceding silly goals. We’ll go into the game positive.”

Defender Killian Brouder misses out with concussion, while Barry Maguire, Eoin Wearen and Jeff McGowan are all doubts.

On a more positive note, strikers Connor Ellis and Danny Morrissey have recovered from medium-term injuries.

BRAY WANDERERS

The mid-season break came at the wrong time for the Seagulls after they followed up an impressive win over St Patrick's Athletic with a draw against Waterford.

Those results sandwiched a heavy 5-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers, but that match was a write-off from the moment Conor Kenna was shown a fourth-minute red card.

Things are starting to look up for Bray under Martin Russell, who has brought in Sean Harding and Craig Walsh from Crumlin United since the amateur window opened.

And tonight's trip to Limerick presents a chance to cut the gap to just three points as the Seagulls plot yet another miraculous escape.

“The game represents a real challenge,” Russell told the club's official website.

“We are going into it in a positive manner. Obviously I know a lot of the Limerick players and staff, and I have empathy on all the recent documented troubles.

“It can be hard to fully concentrate on a game with uncertainties hanging over you.

“We can only try and build on our recent form, continuing to give it our best shot at achieving something that many folk don’t think possible.”

Complicating matters for Russell is a lengthy injury list, though the experienced names of Gary McCabe and Conor Kenna return.

They join Hugh Douglas, Darragh Gibbons, John Sullivan, Darragh Noone and Dylan Hayes on the sidelines, but Aaron Greene is nearing a return from a knee problem.

 

Referee: Ray Matthews

 

MATCH STATS

Limerick have held the upper hand in the sides' two meetings this season, with the Blues 1-0 winners home and away.

Danny Morrissey scored the winner in the first game at the Markets Field, and Shane Duggan scored the winner in Bray after Gary McCabe had missed a penalty.

 

BETTING

Limerick 15/8; Draw 21/10; Bray Wanderers 7/5.

PREDICTION

Limerick 0 – 2 Bray Wanderers

 

Limerick

Injured: Killian Brouder (concussion).

Doubtful: Barry Maguire (knee), Jeff McGowan (quad), Eoin Wearen (shin splints).

Suspended: None.

Bray Wanderers

Injured: Hugh Douglas, Darragh Gibbons, John Sullivan, Darragh Noone and Dylan Hayes, Aaron Greene.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.