Pressure on Sligo Rovers to gain from Tallaght trip
Shamrock Rovers victory would open seven-point advantage over Ian Barraclough’s side
Joseph Ndo could be available again for Sligo Rovers as they travel to Shamrock Rovers on Friday night. Photograph: Inpho.
It might be a little early yet for “must win” games but Sligo Rovers could certainly do with not losing this evening in Tallaght, where a third defeat of the new campaign would hand their hosts a seven-point advantage over them in the table.
That’s a handicap that may take some making up if Shamrock Rovers build on the unbeaten start they have made to date.
Ian Baraclough insists the trip holds “nothing to fear for us,” but there must be a little bit of concern in the manager’s mind after the defeats by Bray and Dundalk.
Sligo travel without Ross Gaynor, who is suspended, while Danny Ledwith, Raffaele Cretaro and Gavin Peers are all injured but Joseph Ndo is back in contention for a starting place.
The hosts will again be without David O’Connor while Marty Waters and Stephen McPhail are major doubts.
Manager Trevor Croly reckons that if his team play here as they did last week against Bohemians then they stand every chance of winning again but Sligo at their best will see themselves as a sterner test than Owen Heary’s side.
Bohemians head to Dundalk tonight looking to improve on their disappointing record against Stephen Kenny’s men last season when they took just one point from nine in the games between the sides.
The Dubliners are again without injured pair Anto Murphy and Dave Mulcahy.
The locals have Mark Rossiter out injured and Simon Kelly suspended but spirits will be high after wins in Sligo and Tallaght over the last six days.
Cork City head for Athlone where their hosts will be anxious to avoid a fourth straight defeat. Their record against City is miserable over the years, though, with not even a goal to show for their last five league encounters. The one plus is John Caulfield continues to have injury problems with Danny Morrissey and Michael Rafter both out while Anthony Elding and Mark O’Sullivan face late tests.
UCD are at Bray with Robbie Creevey a major doubt. Samir Belhout misses out through illness. The hosts are still without Danny O’Connor and he is joined on the sidelines by Eric McGill (hamstring) but Shane O’Neill could feature as could Adam Mitchell while David Cassidy seems certain to feature now that he is available after suspension.
St Patrick’s Athletic face Derry City still looking for their first league win of the season and the Dubliners will have to check on Keith Fahey and Kenny Browne before kick-off while Barry Molloy and Ryan McBride are concerns for Roddy Collins.
In the night’s other top-flight game Limerick, who yesterday confirmed their intention to build a new training centre on the site of the old Ardscoil Mhuire in Bruff, take on a Drogheda side that is still without Michael Schlingermann and Philly Hughes but do have Gavin Brennan and Declan O’Brien back.