The fixture list for the 2018 SSE Airtricity League has been released, and the opening day sees Cork City begin their title defence in Inchicore.
With the new season fast approaching, the full schedule for the newly-condensed ten-team Premier Division has been unveiled, as has the newly-expanded ten-team First Division.
In addition to the reigning champions taking on St. Patrick’s Athletic in their first fixture on February 16th 2018, runners-up Dundalk will host Bray Wanderers at Oriel Park. Top-tier new boys Waterford will welcome Derry City to the RSC – meaning Kenny Shiels’ men will have to wait that bit longer for their return to the Brandywell.
Sligo Rovers entertain Limerick at the Showgrounds, but the pick of the bunch from the curtain-raising weekend is probably Shamrock Rovers taking on Bohemians in an early-season Dublin derby at Dalymount.
City and Dundalk, already facing each other in the President’s Cup in early February, won’t have to wait to too long to get reacquainted in the league wither, with the first meeting taking place of the two sides taking place at Oriel Park on the 9th of March.
In the First Divison, meanwhile, last year’s runners-up Cobh Ramblers have a tricky tie with Longford Town to contend with in their opening game, while Galway United kick off their season in the second tier at home to Athlone Town.
The other two relegated sides, namely Drogheda United and Finn Harps, will face each other in their opening fixture at United Park. Cabinteely host Wexford and UCD entertain Shelbourne in the other two opening-day First Divison fixtures.
The full set of Premier and First Division fixtures can be viewed here.
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