Mick Cooke's LOI Premier Division predictions

As well as the Saturday game, ex-manager also talks about some managerial upheaval at Sligo Rovers and Limerick

Bohemians, Dinny Corcoran, League of Ireland

Bohemians' Dinny Corcoran ©INPHO/Tom Beary

As the upcoming Friday and Saturday League of Ireland Premier Division fixtures arrive, two clubs have already parted ways with their managers.

On Monday, Limerick and Martin Russell parted ways by mutual consent and on Wednesday that was followed by Sligo Rovers parting company with Dave Robertson after a difficult start to the season.

Speaking to Newstalk.com as he previewed the upcoming action, former Drogheda United, Monaghan United, Athlone Town and Bray Wanderers manager Mick Cooke gave his take on the changes so early in the season. 

"There are six games gone and unfortunately I had the same fate myself last year after seven or eight games," he said.

"I'm certainly shocked with the Martin Russell one when you think of the job that he done last year to get promotion. Dave Robertson, I know he had a bad start to the season last year but came good and Sligo finished sixth or seventh last year. They've had a tough start to the season again this year but maybe it's just the pressure now of three teams going down that clubs are starting to panic."

Mick also looked ahead to the six fixtures this weekend:

Cork City vs Derry City

Cork City have been setting the pace at the top with seven wins from seven, while Derry City are also in a good position in the table. 

"It's been an incredible start to the season for Cork," says Mick.

"Derry last week, watching the highlights, I don't know how they didn't get past [Bray keeper] Peter Cherrie. It was incredible the amount of saves he made. Derry played very well on the night." 

Prediction: "I will go with Cork on this one because of the run that they're on and at home, it's a big game for them. I just have the feeling that with Sean Maguire, I think Cork will just about sneak this game."

Bray Wanderers vs Galway United

Galway are propping up the table and remain the only side without a win this season, while Bray are fourth despite some recent inconsistency.

"I think Bray will be too strong for Galway. Galway have got off to a very iffy start and are bottom of the table and I think Monday night's game against Sligo was no good for either club," Mick says.

Prediction: "With Bray at home and the way they are playing, I'd go for them to win."

Drogheda United vs Shamrock Rovers

After two wins from two to start the season, Drogheda have lost all five fixtures since and Shamrock Rovers have been very up and down, leaving them sixth.

"For Drogheda, it seems to have been a false start to the season on the back of losing five games on the spin," says Mick.

"However, Rovers are very inconsistent at the moment. You'd worry about their up and down form. But I think they have too much in their armoury."   

Prediction: "I'll go for three points for Shamrock Rovers."

St Pats vs Limerick

Liam Buckley's St Pats have begun to string results together after a worrying start and won 4-0 at Bohemians last time out, while Limerick as mentioned before have parted ways with Martin Russell despite sitting outside the drop zone for now.  

"Willie Boland has taken temporary charge at Limerick and it could be a week or two before they have a new manager, so it's a difficult period for the team and obviously the players are wondering who's coming in and how they're affected by a new manager coming in," says Mick.

"Pats got a fantastic win last week in Dalymount and I don't think they will have any relegation concerns."

Prediction: "I think St Pats will win this game."

Finn Harps vs Dundalk

Finn Harps have made a solid start to the season to sit seventh but face a tough challenge against the reigning champions who will be looking to keep pace with a flying Cork City.

Mick says: "Ollie Horgan has Harps playing at 100% with really spirited performances but with Dundalk's cuteness and their experience of having won the league for the last three years, I think they'll be far too experienced for Harps."

Prediction: "I think it will be another three points for Dundalk."

Sligo Rovers vs Bohemians

"My fear for Sligo is they have so many players on loan and they have now lost the manager that brought them in," says Mick.

"Bohemians got a rude awakening last Friday with that thumping that Pats gave them. I've a sneaky feeling Bohs will get back on track."

Prediction: "I'm predicting a narrow away win."