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Preview: Sligo Rovers v Bray Wanderers

Updated: Saturday, 16 Mar 2013 10:13 | Comments

Sligo and Bray played out a 1-1 draw the last time the sides met at The Showgrounds
Sligo and Bray played out a 1-1 draw the last time the sides met at The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers host Bray Wanderers in The Showgrounds in a match that pairs the only sides still with 100% records in the Airtricity Premier Division.

Tonight's game concludes series two of the league and remarkably the other 10 sides have all dropped points after two games.

Champions Sligo were 1-0 winners against Derry City on the first day of the season, while Bray saw off Shelbourne by the same score line.

Victory for either side will put them top of the table.

Sligo reached the summit against Seagulls in the fourth match of last season, and never left the position.

Ian Baraclough will hope for a similar result tonight and continue a run of 13 games unbeaten against Wanderers.

They must do so without a number of injured players.

Danny Ventre is suspended and is also on the sidelines with a leg injury. Joseph Ndo sustained a fractured bone in his hand and will miss out. Danny North is working towards fitness from a knee ligament injury. Iarfhlaith Davoren will return to training this week.

Kieran Djilali is in contention for a home debut after making a first appearance against Glentoran in the Setanta Cup.

Aaron Greene is back from an ankle knock.

Defender Shane O'Connor will be missing for Bray as he continues to nurse a hamstring injury.

O'Connor is Bray's only injury worry which means they will have the same squad on duty as for last Friday's opener against Shels at the Carlisle Grounds.

Director of Football Pat Devlin said: "It will be a difficult ask for us, but we have a good recent record against Sligo drawing twice with them last season.

"We are all looking forward to the challenge."

Rovers boss Baraclough said their three victories from three in all competitions does not mean an easy ride against the Seagulls and feels they will be a better proposition this year :

“Everybody likes to start on a positive note. We’ve done that with three wins, scoring goals and not conceding as well which is a bonus.

"But we’re still on a learning curve. There are plenty of areas we can improve.

“It would have been easy to go to Glentoran last Monday and just treat the tie as over. We didn’t do that, we started off well, scored goals and showed the opposition what we’re about again.

"We gave game time to other players that will be pushing for Saturday and it’s important we have that. It gives me a nice problem for the selection.

“It’s a bit of a blow that Joseph has picked up an injury and we can’t quite put a time frame on just how long he will miss, but certainly will not be available for the match with Bray.

“Bray were struggling last season, it might not be the case this season. They will hope to get into mid-table and perhaps a run in a cup competition.

“They will come here and try to stifle us and cause us problems. It is our first home match in the league, one that should entice a crowd, and we hope to continue our good start.” 

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