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Saturday's Airtricity Premier League team news

Updated: Friday, 12 Oct 2012 17:38

Sligo Rovers are on the verge of ending of 35 years of, if not hurt, then at least mild discomfort
Sligo Rovers are on the verge of ending of 35 years of, if not hurt, then at least mild discomfort

SLIGO ROVERS v ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
A win for Sligo Rovers will see them claim Irish football's top prize for the first times since 1977, while St Pat's can keep their title hopes alive with victory.

The match will be watched by at least 5,000 spectators in The Showgrounds with home supporters having already purchased double tickets for the games with the Saints and Shamrock Rovers.

A temporary terrace has been erected for the final matches of the season (old Shed End), adding to the Showgrounds capacity. Tickets remain on sale until Saturday.

Iarfhlaith Davoren, Danny North and Alan Keane are long-term injury victims for Rovers.

Seamus Conneely suffered a hamstring injury in Cork last week in the 0-0 draw in Turner’s Cross. He is rated as doubtful.

Manager Ian Baraclough is eager to keep the pressure off his players, insisting that he does not view the game as crucial in the league race.

"It is not for us because we need two points to win the league," he said.

"We have three games to get our points and the first one is on Saturday. It is obviously a very important game for both teams and it doesn't change how we approach it but I don’t think it is a decider for us."

St Pat's manager Liam Buckley has a near full strength squad to pick from although Ryan Coombes is away on international duty with the Ireland under-19 side, while Jake Kelly is carrying an ankle knock.

Saints come into the game on the back of last weekend's 3-0 win against Dundalk and Buckley is in a confident mood.

"Everyone is in good spirits following the win last weekend, and now we’re all fully focused on the match in Sligo on Saturday," he said.

"There’s no doubt about in my mind that it is a league defining game. We’ll be going out to do ourselves justice and see where the result will take us.

"The games between the sides have been tight to date, and I’d imagine it’ll be similar this weekend. They’re unbeaten at home this season in the league so we know it’ll be tough."

DUNDALK v BOHEMIANS
Dundalk team news when available.

Bohemians go into their final three games of the season knowing that maximum points will almost certainly guarantee a top-half finish, bringing Setanta Sports Cup football to Dalymount Park next season.

Centre-back Kevin Feely is suspended for the game against Dundalk following his red card against UCD, while midfielder Adam Martin is out with an ankle injury. Otherwise, Callaghan expects to have a full squad at his disposal for the trip to Oriel.

Callaghan dismissed notions that revenge would be on the minds of the Bohs players, following Dundalk’s victory in Dalymount in the FAI Ford Cup quarter-final last month.

"What’s gone is gone. We can’t change the past. The cup game was just one of those nights, it took a special free kick to win it. From my point of view, it’s just about getting the three points."

Victory over Dundalk would be the Gypsies only clean sweep of wins against another Airtricity League team this season. “We’ve done well against them this season, won home and away. I didn’t think either side played well in the cup game to be honest. From our side, it’s about getting as many points as we can and trying to finish in that fifth spot.”

SHAMROCK ROVERS v DERRY CITY
Shamrock Rovers go into this game knowing that anything less than a win will see them miss out of a top three finish and automatic European qualification.

Graham Gartland and Conor Winn both remain out of the Hoops squad with back injuries, while Gary McCabe and Colin Hawkins are suspended for the game.

There are doubts over Conor McCormack and Killian Brennan (calf) who will both face fitness tests on Saturday.

Shamrock Rovers director of football, Brian Laws will be hopinng that Derry's midweek FAI Cup exertions take their toll and said: "Congratulations to Derry on their qualification for this year's FAI Ford Cup Final. We seen them during the week, so we know what we we are facing on Saturday night.

"They had two tough games in the past week, so we will be looking to get in control early to get the three points and continue our winning run.

"It is very important that we continue winning to keep the pressure on the top three and keep ourselves in contention for a European qualification place come the end of the season in a few weeks."

For Derry manager Declan Devine, FAI Cup final places will be at stake in Tallaght. 

Barry Molloy is an injury concern for Devine, but otherwise he has no new injury worries. 

"Places in the cup final team are up for grabs and we must be focused on our final two league matches," Devine told www.bbc.co.uk.

"We have fallen down in certain areas this year but we do have potential and tremendous heart in our squad. Playing Shamrock Rovers away is good preparation for what is to come."

"It will be a big test at a good venue with a good stadium and a good atmosphere."

UCD v DROGHEDA UNITED
UCD team news when available.

Drogheda's Alan McNally returns from suspension but Mick Cooke will be without the services of Ryan Brennan, Gavin Brennan and Eric Foley who are all suspended for the game

The Drogs still have an outside chance of winning the league but would need for Sligo to lose their remaining three games while they will all theirs.

"Well we will know before a ball is kicked on Saturday if the league is over as Sligo and Pats will have finished. But no matter the result in that game we will be going out on the pitch to win and we can't discount Shamrock Rovers who could still overtake us in the table," Cooke said.

"UCD is never an easy place to go as Martin's teams like to play good football. We have had some good clashes since i came to Drogheda and even though they aren't easy, they are always enjoyable. Apart from the suspensions we have a fully fit squad and they will all be vying for a place in the starting XI."

SHELBOURNE v CORK CITY
Shelbourne will have to bounce back from the disappointment of Wednesday's FAI Cup semi-final defeat against Derry quickly as they host Cork City in their final home game of the season.

The hosts have Gareth Mathews suspended for this game, having been red-carded in the away game with Drogheda United. Also unlikely to feature are injured duo Ian Ryan (hip) and Paddy Kavanagh (knee).

Shelbourne manager Alan Mathews, who after Wednesday’s game declared himself "bitterly disappointed with the result and the fact that we’re out of the Cup" will now have to lift his side for the Cork game. "We'll prepare properly for the game as always," he insisted.

"You know who you’re playing. You know what strengths they have and what weakness you try to exploit. You know what you’re going to get from most sides. We’ve played and seen each other so often this season already."

Cork manager Tommy Dunne will welcome Gearóid Morrissey back from suspension but will be without Garry Buckley, who suffered a knee injury in training that is likely to sideline him for a number of weeks.

Brian Lenihan has returned from international duty with the Republic of Ireland Under 19 side with a back injury and is a major doubt for the game.

Dunne also confirmed that striker Keigan Parker has left the club to return to Scotland for personal reasons.

The Rebels boss is wary of a reaction from Shelbourne after their Cup defeat. 

“Now that Shelbourne have exited the cup, they will be looking to bounce back from that as soon as they can," he said.

"With the rivalry that exists between the two clubs, Tolka Park is always a tough place to travel. We have a decent record there in recent games, but I have no doubt that Shelbourne will be looking to rectify that on Saturday, so it is important that we play well if we are to get a result. If we can get a win, it would give us a huge boost in our efforts to claim a fifth place finish.”

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