1. When will a top-half side lose away from home?
EIGHT GAMES INTO the season and none of the top five have lost away from home yet. Shamrock Rovers, Derry City, Bohemians and Sligo Rovers have all drawn games however, with the surprise package Bray Wanderers the only team with a 100% record on the road.
Perhaps tonight will see that chain broken as four of the five are away. Derry have a difficult test away to Bohs, while Dundalk, the only team not to have lost at home, welcome Bray to Oriel Park. Both Shamrock Rovers and Sligo go into their games against Galway and UCD respectively as heavy favourites to keep their run going.
2. Is a Derry defeat due?
Although they’re two points adrift of the leaders, Derry City have the best recent form in the league heading into their trip to Dalymount Park this evening. In fact, Stephen Kenny’s side haven’t lost since the opening day game at home to Sligo, following it up with 15 points from a possible 21.
It has all been going much better than originally expected for them so far and with the likes of Eamon Zayed on fire for the Candystripes, it looks like there could be a sweet season ahead for Stephen Kenny’s team.
3. Can Bray keep going?
It’s quite easy to liken Bray Wanderers’ season so far to Blackpool’s opening to life in the Premier League. While the Tangerines surpassed any expectations with their blistering start to the season, Bray have definitely been the surprise package in the Premier Division.
In a way, Pat Devlin can be compared to Alex Ferguson. Not only does he have the same purple nose, but he also has a great eye for younger players and that can be evident with the array of young talent coming to the fore for the Seagulls.
Nonetheless, the fact they’re currently in third place is perhaps more surprising than St Pats taking a break for next season, keeping the good men on the bench.
4. Will Galway score a second goal at home?
360 minutes of football at Terryland Park and the home fans have only had one goal to cheer so far – Bobby Ryan’s strike in the 4-1 defeat to Derry. Surely they’ll be treated to a second goal soon?
It doesn’t look likely this weekend though, with the champions coming to town. The Tribesmen have, strangely, scored four goals on the road in the same amount of time, but generally when you’re a relegation candidate, winning points at home has to be a priority and unless they start doing that soon, they’ll be dropping a division in no time.
5. Will Stephen Henderson be the next manager to get the sack?
Hendo has been under severe pressure after his Waterford United team limped to an incredibly disappointing start to the season – losing their last four games in both league and cup – and despite commending James Gallagher, who was the first manager to get the chop in 2011, the resignation of assistant manager Ray Moran recently is only adding to the speculation that he might go.
Indeed, Hendo apparently attempted to resign after last week’s defeat to Shelbourne but was talked out of it by the club Chairman John O’Sullivan. What is clear is that a vocal section of fans believe the former goalkeeper’s time is coming to an end and they need a fresh pair of hands to come in and save their season from imploding anymore.
A defeat to lowly Wexford Youths might spell the end.