League Preview: Shamrock Rovers -v- Derry City

Fri, Jun 29 2018

Rovers won 6-1 the last tiime the sides met in Tallaght. Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick

SHAMROCK ROVERS

Shamrock Rovers welcome Derry City to Tallaght Stadium (kick-off 8pm) hoping for a replica of their 6-1 win over the Candystripes in March.

Graham Burke scored four that day, but played his last game in the 2-0 win over Limerick before the break, scoring his 13th of the season before signing for Preston North End.

Derry have improved significantly since that day while the Hoops have struggled to reach those levels, and it promises to be a tighter affair for two sides level in fourth.

“Derry is a big game,” manager Stephen Bradley told the club's official website.

“I’m sure they’ll come and try to play and we’ve got to be ready for that.

“If we reach our levels like we did in the second half against Limerick the result will look after itself, but we’ll have to because they are a good side.

“We scored six at home against them but out there in Derry I actually thought we were better.

“We played really well and it could have been two or three that night. It just wouldn’t go in for us but we know those games have no bearing on tomorrow.

In addition to Burke's departure, Ethan Boyle and Greg Bolger are suspended while Trevor Clarke is the only absentee with a long-term knee injury.

DERRY CITY

Just one win in five games going into the mid-season break meant the week off was a welcome one for the Candystripes.

The run of four defeats from five meant Derry slipped off the pace in the race for third place, seven points behind Waterford and level with Shamrock Rovers.

Most worrying for Kenny Shiels has been his side's inability to defend – in those four defeats, they conceded four three times, to Cork City, Dundalk and Waterford.

So it's a less-than-ideal time for the Candystripes to revisit the scene of their record League of Ireland defeat, the 6-1 reverse in Tallaght at the beginning of the season.

“It will obviously be a very tough game but we have to try to fight our way back into the top three or four,” Shiels told the club's official website.

“Tallaght is a difficult place to go as we already know but we’ve prepared well and will go there to try to win the game as we always do.”

New signing Dean Shiels is ineligible until July 1st, while Aaron McEneff is suspended, but Canadian international Ben Fisk is free to play.

Full-back Jack Doyle plays his last game in red and white before returning to Blackburn Rovers, but Ronan Hale has extended his loan until the end of the season.

 

Referee: Rob Rogers.

 

MATCH STATS

In their two meetings so far this season, the Hoops have taken four points from a possible six.

The first game in Tallaght ended 6-1 to the Hoops, with Graham Burke notching four goals as Derry suffered a record defeat.

The return fixture in the Brandywell was a lot closer, finishing scoreless.

 

BETTING

Shamrock Rovers 4/7; Draw 3/1; Derry City 4/1.

PREDICTION

Shamrock Rovers 2 – 0 Derry City

 

Shamrock Rovers

Injured: Trevor Clarke.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: Greg Bolger, Ethan Boyle.

Derry City

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: Aaron McEneff.

Unavailable: Dean Shiels (ineligible).