League of Ireland season preview

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League Of Ireland Season Preview League Of Ireland Season Preview
SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Finn Park, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal 1/11/2020 Finn Harps vs Shamrock Rovers A general view of the SSE Airtricity League trophy plinth Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
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James Cox

The League of Ireland Premier Division kicks off with two games tonight as Drogheda United host Waterford at 5.45pm and champions Shamrock Rovers face St Patrick's Athletic at 7.45pm.

Here we take a look ahead at the season.

Favourites

Defending champions Shamrock Rovers are the clear favourites.

However, the loss of Jack Byrne and Aaron McEneff will be an issue for Stephen Bradley.

Dundalk cannot be ruled out either although question marks remain over the Lilywhites' managerial situation.

Shane Keegan has stepped up as team manager.

This may come as a surprise as Filippo Giovagnoli led the club to the Europa League group stages and an FAI Cup win after succeeding Vinny Perth in August.

However, Giovagnoli does not have a UEFA Pro License, hence the reshuffle.

The club insists Keegan and Giovagnoli's positions are clear so it will be interesting to see if it presents any issues.

Other contenders

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Bohemians finished second last season and they will certainly be in the mix.

Keith Long has built a talented young team and while winning the title may be a step too far this year, they're certainly headed in that direction.

Liam Buckley's Sligo Rovers and St Pat's could also be dark horses to mount a serious title challenge.

Opening fixtures

Today

Drogheda United v Waterford 5.45pm

Shamrock Rovers v St Patrick's Athletic 7.45pm

Tomorrow 

Finn Harps v Bohemians 8pm

Sligo Rovers v Dundalk 8pm

Longford Town v Derry City 6pm

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