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SSE Airtricity League team news: Hoops can go top against Town, Sligo face Bray

Updated: Saturday, 17 May 2014 18:59 | Comments

Trevor Croly's Shamrock Rovers will go top of the league if they beat Athlone Town
Trevor Croly's Shamrock Rovers will go top of the league if they beat Athlone Town

Shamrock Rovers v Athlone Town, Tallaght Stadium, 7.00pm

Shamrock Rovers can go top of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division tonight as they welcome bottom side Athlone Town to Tallaght Stadium.

Trevor Croly's men know a win will see them leapfrog Dundalk and St Patrick's Athletic after the Saints dropped points on Friday against Dundalk.

As it stands, just two points separate the top four in the Premier Division so a win tonight against an Athlone side with just a single point to their name is a must for the Hoops.

Conor Kenna is Rovers’ only injury and is out of the game with a stiff hamstring. Shane Robinson is suspended.

Speaking ahead of the game, Hoops boss Trevor Croly said: “Athlone Town have had a long time to prepare for this game, especially with their game against Sligo being postponed last week.

“Keith (Long) will have his team well organised, so it could be a difficult game for us. The mentality will have to be right on the night in order to get the three points.”

Athlone boss Keith Long heads into the game without the suspended Sean Byrne who serves an additional ban for his sending off against Dundalk.

On the injury front Aidan Collins is definitely ruled out with a shoulder problem and Philly Gorman is rated as only 50/50 to make the squad with a hamstring injury.

Sligo Rovers v Bray Wanderers, The Showgrounds, 7.45pm

Sligo Rovers return to league action after claiming the Setanta Sports Cup last weekend when they host Bray Wanderers in The Showgrounds.

Sligo trail Bray in the league table, going into the game a point behind the Seagulls, albeit with a game in hand.

It’s a scenario few would have expected with over a third of the season concluded. Bray earned a 1-0 win in the first meeting of the sides this year in the Carlisle Grounds.

However, Ian Baraclough's men are 18 leagues games unbeaten at home to the Wicklow side.

Aaron Greene could make a 100th appearance of his Sligo Rovers career.

In team news Alan Keane (thigh and knee), Joesph Ndo (calf), Gavin Peers (knee) and Raffaele Cretato (calf) are ruled out.

Jake Kelly (ankle) and Shane O'Connor (hamstring) miss out for Bray and Adam Mitchell and Niall Cooney are banned. 

Rob Maloney returns from suspension.

Baraclough said:  "We quickly got down to work after the victory last Saturday. 

"It was back to training early in the week, knowing such an important league fixture was just around the corner. 

"The cup win has to inspire us to go on and achieve even more this season. 

"There’s a lot of football to be played and we believe we can keep winning matches and putting points on the board.

"Bray was probably the one performance this season where we looked back at the game and said it wasn't acceptable. They deservedly won that game and have gone on to beat the likes Dundalk and Limerick so they have shown what a good side they are.

"They've kept five clean sheets in the last six league games, by doing that you will win games and you will climb that table. 

"There is a confidence in our group and it will only grow on the back on the cup win. It doesn't give us a right to win football matches, it means we have to keep producing good performances, creating chances and taking them as well. That is what I'll be looking for on Saturday."

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