League Preview: Bohemians -v- Finn Harps

Sat, Oct 24 2020
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None Credit: Conor Ryan (ETPhotos)

BOHEMIANS

Bohs play their penultimate game of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division (kick-off 7.30pm) with a chance to close the gap on league leaders Shamrock Rovers to one point - lose though and the Hoops will be crowned champions.

A win for the Gypsies will leave the Hoops needing just one win from their remaining four games but all the Phibsborough side can do is concentrate on their games and exert maximum pressure on their Dublin rivals. 

Keith Long’s team come into this game against a Harps side desperate for points in their perennial fight for survival in the Premier Division on the back of a draw against current league champions Dundalk. That scoreless game brought an end to their win streak, having won their previous four league games.

Their preparations for the Dundalk game were thrown into disarray by a positive Covid-19 test in their squad - with one additional close contact - but, despite this, they acquitted themselves well in a game that could have gone either way. 

A point is enough to guarantee Bohs second place and they certainly will not want a loss that would hand the title to Shamrock Rovers so all that should serve as extra motivation to continue their unbeaten run.  

Keith Long speaking before the game outlined what he expects from his opponents tonight. “Harps are always well organised and have very good players in their ranks that can cause any team problems. 

“Games between us have by and large been close affairs and tonight we expect a tough challenge as we always do against a committed and motivated team.”

FINN HARPS

Ollie Horgan brings his team to Dalymount Park after the cancellation of their game scheduled for last Monday against Shamrock Rovers due to positive Covid-19 cases in the Hoops camp.  

Horgan, one of the great characters of the League of Ireland, has his side in ninth position after a recent run of four draws in four games. They have one point more than bottom side Cork City (who play in Sligo at 5pm) and have a game in hand. 

Horgan memorably said earlier in the season that he would take the relegation/promotion position with open arms and it looks like that is where he will guide his side to again. 

Prior to their cancelled game, Harps had been on a good run and Horgan spoke with the club’s media team ahead of today’s match about the effect this break has had on his team.

“The fact that we were going halfway well, we’d have loved to play the following week. We could have done without the break at this stage. We have to play games in a narrower space of time and it's certainly not to our advantage.” 

Horgan is expecting a tough game tonight but is also aware of his team’s requirement to get a result.

“Bohs are going very well. They’re second in the table for a reason. We’re going away, to play a side in good form, and have been playing over the past couple of weeks. But we’re not making excuses, it's the situation we’re in and we’ll go there looking to come away with something. We cannot be depending on results around us.” 

Harps will be without the injured Mark Timlin, with Leo Donnnellan, Barry McNamee and Sam Todd also doubts for the game. Mark Coyle is suspended after picking up five yellow cards this season.  

Referee: Neil Doyle

MATCH STATS

The last league meeting between the teams was a 1-0 victory for Bohemians at Finn Park with Danny Grant scoring the decisive goal. 

Their four league meetings last season saw Bohemians winning three of the games and Finn Harps getting one win at Finn Park. 

Finn Harps’ last win against Bohemians at Dalymount was in 1999.

BETTING

Bohemians 2/5; Draw 31/10; Finn Harps 6/1.

PREDICTION

Bohemians 1 - 0 Finn Harps.

Bohemians

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

Finn Harps

Injured: Mark Timlin.

Doubtful: Leo Donnnellan, Barry McNamee and Sam Todd.

Suspended: Mark Coyle.

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