League Preview: Sligo Rovers -v- Shamrock Rovers

Sat, May 19 2018

Dan Carr celebrates the game's only goal the last time the sides met, in Tallaght in March. Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick

SLIGO ROVERS

Sligo Rovers will look to arrest a three-game losing streak in the league when they welcome Shamrock Rovers to the Showgrounds (kick-off 7.45pm).

The past week has seen the Bit o' Red slip to successive away defeats, a tight 2-1 in Dundalk before losing 2-0 to St Patrick's Athletic at Richmond Park.

Gerard Lyttle's side have won just two of their nine home games in the league this season, with Shamrock Rovers the only side yet to visit the Showgrounds.

“Shamrock Rovers is a fixture that always brings a lot of interest and we simply have to build again,” Lyttle told the club's official website.

“We’ve come off a tough week and a lot of games but we have to approach this game with passion, energy, desire and give absolutely everything to get the result.

“Shamrock Rovers have been a bit up and down like ourselves. They are a better team than their position shows and they’ll be really keen to improve on the away record because if they sort that out it could be a very different prospect for them.

“We want to change our home form and it’s a big challenge for us, so we’ll ask the players to go out and show the desire they have for the club and try to take the opportunities.

“We believe in them that they can do so and that we can get the three points.”

Patrick McClean is out as he awaits the results of a scan on a medial ligament injury, while Raff Cretaro and Michéal Schlingermann also miss out with injury.

David Cawley will have a late fitness test, but Eduardo Pincelli, Regan Donelon and Seamus Sharkey are all available again after missing the game in Inchicore.

 

SHAMROCK ROVERS

Shamrock Rovers travel the Showgrounds in search of their first win in three as they look to close the gap on the top five.

Stephen Bradley's side followed up the 2-0 defeat to St Patrick's Athletic with a 1-1 home draw to Waterford last Friday.

Gavan Holohan put the Blues in front before the break before new Ireland call-up Graham Burke levelled for the Hoops midway through the second half

“We started poorly [against Waterford] and they were good in the first half,” Bradley told the club's media team.

“What we were doing at the time wasn’t coming off so we needed to change it and obviously it worked.

“I thought in the second half we were a lot better. Dan Carr did well when he came on, he was positive in everything he did.

“He did really well for the goal and the positive thing for Graham Burke is that he’s getting himself into the right areas to score goals.

“He wouldn’t have been there to score that header last year so it was great that he got himself in that position.

“Sligo is a tough place to go. I watched them against St Pat’s during the week and they should have at least been level going into the last 10 or 15 minutes.

“We know they’ll be dangerous going forward. Hopefully we can go and play our game and cause them problems.

“Our performances away from home hasn’t been the problem in a lot of them. In one or two it has, but we’ve just given away soft goals.”

Bradley is missing Joey O'Brien through suspension and both Kevin Horgan and Sean Boyd remain on the injury list.

Captain Ronan Finn is a slight doubt as he manages a persistent rib injury, but Graham Burke will be available before joining up with the Ireland squad on Sunday.

 

Referee: TBC

 

MATCH STATS

The sides have met once so far this season, with Rovers edging out the Tallaght Stadium encounter 1-0 thanks to Dan Carr's goal.

The two Rovers met three times last season with little to separate them in terms of results or goals.

Shamrock Rovers won the first meeting in Tallaght 1-0 thanks to a Brandon Miele goal in April, before John Russell returned the favour for Sligo in July.

The final league meeting in Tallaght in October ended 1-1 after Regan Donelan cancelled out Gary Shaw's opener late on.

 

BETTING

Sligo Rovers 10/3; Draw 5/2; Shamrock Rovers 4/5.

PREDICTION

Sligo Rovers 1 – 1 Shamrock Rovers

 

Sligo Rovers

Injured: Raff Cretaro, Patrick McClean (neck), Micheál Schlingermann (neck).

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

 

Shamrock Rovers

Injured: Sean Boyd, Kevin Horgan.

Doubtful: Ronan Finn (ribs).

Suspended: Joey O'Brien.