Sligo in better shape for their test against league leaders Shamrock Rovers

Manager Liam Buckley says his side will be out to cause an upset in Tallaght

After wins against the bottom two, Sligo Rovers have bodies back for the visit to top of the table Shamrock Rovers, and while the home side have been going well Liam Buckley insists the visitors head to southwest Dublin with big ambitions.

“I’ve had some wins in Tallaght previously and it’s a great place to pick up a result if you can,” says the former Shamrock Rovers player and manager.

“We’ll give it a good go. The opposition are the team top of the table with aspirations to stay there all year so it’s a challenge but it’s certainly what we’re targeting.

Regan Donelon, Kyle Callan-McFadden and Dante Leverock have all returned to training this week and while Buckley says he will have to make calls on whether they are all fit to start, his options have improved.


Stephen Bradley’s side should be much the same and that seems likely to mean another bit of a reshuffle from a manager who has made good use of his wider squad over the first few weeks of the season.

Vinny Perth says the added strength in depth at Dundalk was what saved them last week against Waterford with his team winning big despite a string of injury problems. Things are no better for the trip to Derry with Robbie Benson, Pat McEleney, Michael Duffy, Chris Shields and John Mountney all ruled out, apparently, while Dean Jarvis faces a late test.

Create chances

Declan Devine, like Buckley, is in better shape than this time last week and while, he says, "the game is coming just a bit too soon for Patrick McClean, Greg Sloggett, Barry McNamee and David Parkhouse will all be included in the panel".

John Caulfield will have watched whatever he could of Derry's draw at Dalymount back with interest. "Bohs are very solid," he says. "They've done a lot of work on their shape and are much more defensive but from our own point of view, we have to make sure we can kick on from last Friday night. We need to open up the play and create chances."

Gearóid Morrissey is listed as one of the home side’s doubts but then they said that last week too and he soldiered through rather well in Ballybofey.

Keith Long might take the term “defensive” as a little backhanded – his team has only scored one goal fewer than City – but they certainly head south with a better record at the back and a feeling, right now, that they are pretty much a match for anyone.

Fixtures (7.45 unless stated) - Premier Division: Cork City v Bohemians, Derry City v Dundalk, UCD v Finn Harps, Waterford v St Patrick's Athletic, Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers (8.0). First Division: Bray Wanderers v Athlone Town, Drogheda United v Cabinteely, Limerick v Cobh Ramblers, Shelbourne v Wexford.

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times