League Preview: Shamrock Rovers -v- St Patrick's Athletic

Tue, May 22 2018

SHAMROCK ROVERS

Sixth-placed Shamrock Rovers come into this game in disappointing form, which comprises of one win in 10 games in all competitions. Most recently, Stephen Bradley’s side drew 0-0 on Saturday night away to Sligo Rovers.

The away side had the bulk of the possession and most of the chances but did not have the killer instinct to see off a dogged Sligo side. This was something Bradley alluded to when speaking to his club’s official website, shamrockrovers.ie.

“I thought we played well. We dominated the game and created chances. On another night we win comfortably but we didn’t take our chances and obviously didn’t win the game but overall I’m happy with the performance.

“If you look at it especially in the first half, we created a lot of good chances.”

The Hoops will be confident against Pats, though, as a Kevin Toner own goal compounded the Saints to a 1-0 loss the last time the sides met in Tallaght on the 16th of March.

Bradley is aware of the significance of tonight’s game for his squad and the run of form his Dublin compatriots are on.

“St Pat’s are doing really well; they’ve won their last few games. I watched them last week against Derry and they were good. They’re coming full of confidence but it’s a challenge we’re really looking forward to. I’d imagine with the run they’re on they’ll look to try and play and win the game so we’ll be ready for that.

“I think three points is three points, I don’t think you should get yourself up differently for any other game. It’s a game we want to win like every other game. The players know about the derbies and everything that comes with that but as a player and as a group you can’t lift yourself for one or two games and not for others.

 

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC

It is safe to say that Pats are in completely different circumstances than tonight’s opponents at the moment. It is also safe to say that this season is a complete contrast to last season, where they now occupy fifth-place at the halfway stage.

Last Friday night, a blistering encounter against Derry City saw the Saints win 5-2, after twice going a goal down. Five different men got the goals for Liam Buckley’s outfit, as Jake Keegan, Conan Byrne, Kevin Toner, Thomas Byrne and Darragh Markey all netted on the night.

Speaking to stpatsfc.com, Buckley was delighted with the win itself but also the manner in how it was achieved.

"I was very pleased with the performance we put in against Derry. I felt we played well, and were a little unlucky with the goals we conceded. However, to come back from trailing on two occasions showed that the lads have real character and credit to them for bouncing back.”

The win was very impressive, considering they leapfrogged Derry after it, but perhaps what was more impressive was the manner in which they won the game. After twice conceding the lead, the Inchicore club did not panic and kept playing their game.

This showed confidence and belief, as they are now on a four-game winning streak having only lost once in eight outings.

Ahead of tonight’s game, Buckley is aware that usually games against his former employers are tight affairs and is hopeful of a big away support in the Dublin 24 venue.

“Dublin derbies are always entertaining and anything can happen. We’ve recently played Rovers in Richmond and came out of the game with three points, so we know what to expect from them. 

“It will be another really tight game and hopefully we can come out on the right side of the result once more as we know that our support will be there in huge numbers.”

After a goal and two assists on Friday, St Pats’ number seven Conan Byrne is very eager to return to a stadium where he netted all four goals in a 4-0 win for the Saints in 2013.

"The hope will be to make it five wins in a row,” Byrne told stpatsfc.com. “But we are just taking it one game at a time.  Tallaght Stadium is one of the toughest places to go to get a result, but we will all be up for it.

“Dublin derbies are huge for St Pat's players, be it in Tallaght, Dalymount Park, Tolka Park, wherever. If you cannot get up for a Dublin Derby you might as well hang up the boots.”

Referee: Robert Rogers

 

MATCH STATS

The two sides have met each other a total of 55 times in Premier Division action. Rovers winning 20 of those ties, Pats winning 22 and 13 draws been played out between the pair. There have been 2.5 goals per game in those 55 games.

The Dublin sides have met each other twice so far this season, with both teams with a win apiece. The Hoops won the first game 1-0 in Tallaght and Pats won the other one 2-0, eighteen days ago to be precise, at Richmond Park.

Rovers have only lost one at home – a 2-1 loss to Bohs – and have a record of five wins, three draws and a loss from nine games in Tallaght.

Pats have lost five times on their travels. Their away record reads; three wins, one draw, and five losses.

 

BETTING

Shamrock Rovers 11/10; Draw 23/10; St Patrick’s Athletic 12/5.

PREDICTION

Shamrock Rovers 1 – 1 St Patrick’s Athletic

 

Shamrock Rovers

Injured: Kevin Horgan, Sean Boyd.

Doubtful: Sean Kavanagh (illness).

Suspended: None.

 

St Patrick’s Athletic

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Dean Clarke, Killian Brennan.

Suspended: None.