First Division runners up Bray Wanderers welcome Galway United to the Carlisle Grounds for the second time in three days on Saturday for the beginning of the playoffs (kick-off 3pm).
It’s been a heartbreaking week for The Seagulls after missing out on the First Division title by a point on Tuesday night with Drogheda United lifting the trophy instead.
Gary Cronin’s side were in the lead until last Saturday when they suffered defeat at the hands of Galway.
They managed to secure a final three points away to Athlone Town on Tuesday night with Ryan Graydon getting on the scoresheet.
That same night Drogheda got a 2-0 win against Cabinteely to secure the First Division and doom Bray Wanderers to the playoffs.
In terms of team news, Darragh Lynch, Gary Shaw and Luka Lovic are all doubts for this fixture and will face late fitness tests ahead of kick-off.
The Tribesmen had seemingly missed out on the playoffs after succumbing to a 2-2 draw with UCD on Tuesday night.
Cabinteely originally occupied fifth place in the First Division after receiving an extra two points due to a player ineligibility issue with Wexford earlier this season.
Wexford appealed on Wednesday and the decision was reversed which allowed Galway into the playoffs after all.
Shane Duggan’s injury time equalizer against UCD became an even more important goal as without it United would have finished behind Cobh Ramblers and missed out on the playoffs anyway.
Galway were in the Carlisle Grounds just seven days ago where they picked up an essential three points with a last minute winner courtesy of Carlton Ubaezuonu.
Manager John Caulfield is expecting another tough outing this Saturday.
"Last week, both teams had to win the game. Now we're back seven days later, at the same venue, at the same time, and both teams have to win again,” Caulfield said, speaking to the club’s media team.
"Gary was desperately unlucky not to gain automatic promotion with Bray.
"We've got a second chance now ourselves through the play-offs and we're looking forward to the game.
"It's been a tough few weeks, we were out of training for a few weeks, then we had a run of games.
"It was a phenomenal effort from the players to get to the play-off, we got 21 points out of 10 games, which is an incredible return.
"It's a cup final for us and Bray on Saturday to see who can progress, it will be a very tight game."
Long term absentees Josh Smith and Conor Melody are still unavailable for this game, with Micheál Schlingermann also ruled out due to injury.
Also concerning for Caulfield will be the fitness of Jack Lynch, Enda Curran and Carlton Ubaezuonu who are all doubts for Saturday’s game.
Referee: Eoghan O’Shea
This will be Galway’s fourth game in eleven days.
Since John Caulfield took over as manager, The Tribesmen have won seven of their last ten First Division games.
Galway are unbeaten in the last three meetings between the sides, Bray last came out on top in May 2019.
Bray Wanderers 1–2 Galway United
Doubtful: Darragh Lynch, Gary Shaw, Luka Lovic.
Injured: Josh Smith, Conor Melody, Micheál Schlingermann.
Doubtful: Jack Lynch, Carlton Ubaezuonu, Enda Curran.
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