League of Ireland preview: Will Shamrock Rovers make it five-in-a-row?

League Of Ireland Preview: Will Shamrock Rovers Make It Five-In-A-Row?
Shamrock Rovers are once again the team to catch heading into the new season.
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Michael Bolton

The Airtricity League of Ireland gets back underway on Friday night, as Stephen Bradley's side begin their quest for five consecutive league titles.

Stephen Bradley's side are once again the team to beat, and have added the likes of Johnny Kenny, Aaron McEneff and Darragh Burns on loan from British sides.


While they have dominated domestically, improvements in Europe will be a target, having exited the Europa Conference League qualifiers last season.

Hoping to stop their drive for five will be Derry City, who finished up as runners-up last season.

They have added Pat Hoban and Daniel Kelly from Dundalk to their squad, and will hope for more consistent displays to mount a title challenge.

Another side who will go into the season with title ambitions will be FAI Cup winners St Patrick's Athletic.


Despite losing star defender Sam Curtis to Sheffield United, it is still a very strong squad Jon Daly has. They have been boosted by the singing of Ruairi Keating from Cork City, who scored 13 league goals last season.

One player to watch out for is 16-year-old Mason Melia, who has impressed in his opportunities so far, and could have his breakout season.

In his third season in charge, Damien Duff will be hoping to build on another good season with Shelbourne, after their fourth place finish secured them European football.

Despite losing key players, Dundalk and Bohemians will be hoping to challenge for European places.


At the other end of the table, Galway United make their return to the division after they were promoted following their incredible title-winning season in the first division.

After defeating Cork City in a relegation/promotion play-off, Waterford are also in the top division, with both themselves and Galway likely to be battling for survival.

Here is opening round of fixtures, and where you can watch them this weekend:

Friday February 16th

Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk, Tallaght Stadium, RTÉ Two, 7:45.

Derry City v Drogheda United, Brandywell, LOI TV, 7:45.

Galway United v St Patrick's Athletic, Eamon Deacy Park, LOI TV, 7:45.

Bohemians v Sligo Rovers, Dalymount Park, LOI TV 7:45.

Waterford v Shelbourne, The RSC, LOI TV, 7:45.

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