The Super Blues have the tricky task of hosting high-flying Longford Town in a crucial encounter at the Market’s Field in the SSE Airtricity First Division on Friday evening (kick-off 7.45pm).
Limerick will be looking to keep their slim aspirations for promotion alive with a home win to satisfy the Garryowen faithful.
Limerick’s mini-unbeaten run came to an abrupt end last Friday night when they were edged out 1-0 by league leaders Shelbourne in a closely fought encounter at the Market’s Field.
Both sides were evenly matched at the outset and cancelled each other out in the opening 20 minutes.
Limerick were given a glorious opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty but Darren Murphy fluffed his lines from the spot.
The Super Blues paid a heavy price for that miss as they fell behind seven minutes before the break courtesy of a goal for Shels by veteran striker Ciaran Kilduff.
Limerick failed to recover from that setback and never really threatened an equaliser despite the introduction of striker Adam Foley and the Drumcondra side ran out deserved winners.
Limerick had been on an impressive run of form in recent weeks in the league having remaining unbeaten in five matches with three wins over Cobh Ramblers (2-3), Cabinteely (1-0) and Galway United (2-1) and two draws against Athlone Town (1-1) and Wexford (0-0).
The Super Blues boss Tommy Barrett knows that this is a must win game for Limerick if they are to have any chance of reeling in the eleven point deficit from current league leaders Shelbourne.
The Super Blues have been dogged by the off the field speculation amid financial difficulties and they were dealt another blow this week with the news the 3 more players are to depart.
Under-21 international Will Fitzgerald expected to finalise a move to the Premier Division while Killian Brouder and Colm Walsh-O’Loghlen saw their contracts expire on June 30th.
Promotion-chasing Longford Town will look to maintain the pace with top of the table Shels and take all three points back to the Midlands with them.
De Town managed to remain in the promotion/relegation berth with a hard fought 1-0 win over Cobh Ramblers at the City Calling Stadium last Friday night.
The men from the Rebel County proved to be stubborn opposition and Longford found it difficult to create any clear-cut chances in the opening 30 minutes.
However, the breakthrough arrived just after the half-hour mark when Sam Verdon struck to break The Rams supporter’s hearts and send the home fans into raptures.
Cobh battled bravely but were unable to find an equaliser and De Town just about got over the line.
Longford’s recent form has been inconsistent in the league in their last six matches with the Midlands side managing three wins over Athlone Town (3-1), Galway United (2-1) and Wexford (1-0) and three defeats to Galway United (2-1), Shelbourne (1-0) and Bray Wanderers (3-2).
Referee: Jason Mannix
Limerick and Longford Town have met each other twice in the league already this season with the opening fixture ending in a 0-0 draw at the Market’s Field in February.
Longford Town edged out the corresponding fixture 1-0 at the City Calling Stadium in April thanks to Dean Byrne’s second-half strike.
The Super Blues and De Town have met on 19 occasions since 2009 with Limerick having the better head to head record, winning eight, Longford five and four draws.
Limerick have scored 26 goals in 19 matches, averaging 1.37 goals per game, while Longford have scored 23 goals in their 19 matches, averaging 1.11 goals per game.
Limerick 7/2 Draw 5/2 Longford Town 8/13
Limerick 1-2 Longford Town