/ Soccer

Plenty at stake in clash of the Rovers

Updated: Sunday, 01 Jun 2014 15:07 | Comments

Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers do battle at 3pm
Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers do battle at 3pm

Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers will be desperate for three points on Sunday when they meet in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division in The Showgrounds, kick-off 3pm.

Sligo’s league title hopes are fading fast as they trail leaders Dundalk by 14 points.

The Lilywhites inflicted a fifth defeat of the league season on the Bit o’ Red last week with a comprehensive 3-0 success and Ian Baraclough will need a response from his side.

The Hoops are just seven behind Stephen Kenny’s men but they have been made to pay for dropped points against Bohemians and Limerick in Tallaght Stadium in recent weeks as the Louth side pulled clear in the table.

With Dundalk in action again on Monday against UCD after a 2-0 win over Bohs on Friday, Trevor Croly will be eyeing up a victory to keep on the tails of the leaders having seen Cork City in second and St Patrick's Athletic also claim three points this weekend.

A large crowd is expected in Sligo to see which of the Rovers’ can boost their league credentials, the Hoops earned a 1-0 victory in the first meeting of the teams in Tallaght in March and another tight encounter is anticipated.

In team news, there is better news for Sligo on the injury front with Alan Keane (knee and thigh), Joseph Ndo (calf) and Raffaele Cretaro (calf) possibly able to feature.

A decision will be made on all three in the build-up to the game but they have made good progress this week according to the Bit o’ Red.

Gavin Peers is ruled out with a knee ligament injury.

The Hoops will have to do without the services of Stephen McPhail (rib), Luke Byrne (cartilage) and Sean Heaney (hamstring) for this match.

"It hurt us in Dundalk. We felt that on Friday night and in the days afterwards but we then had to focus on this game from the early part of the week"

Sligo boss Baraclough said matches between the two Rovers have a special feeling about them and sees it as a perfect chance to respond to the heavy defeat in Oriel Park.

He said: “It hurt us in Dundalk. We felt that on Friday night and in the days afterwards but we then had to focus on this game from the early part of the week.

“You can’t dwell on negatives or what you can’t change. You put your focus on the next game, that’s what we have done and it’s a match we are very much looking forward to.

“There is undoubtedly something special when the two Rovers meet. The games always show that. We see it as an ideal scenario to try to bounce back from the defeat last week. It’s a Sunday afternoon game, there’ll be a great atmosphere and it’s an eagerly-anticipated game with one of our rivals around us in the table.

“We’ve tried to put things in perspective in that prior to the defeat to Dundalk, we were unbeaten in eight league matches in what was a great run. 

“We’re going to do all we can to get back to winning ways on Sunday.”

Croly, meanwhile, feels that Sligo’s attacking approach will suit the visitors in comparison to the defensive tactics employed by Bohs last week and added that the pressure is on the Setanta Sports Cup holders to push to win the game.

He said: “We didn’t get the goal we needed that would have drawn Bohs out.

“Sunday will be a different game against Sligo. When you see where they are in the league, they will need to win the game and I think it is a match that will suit us.

“It is always a good game against Sligo. They had a poor result last week so there will be a reaction from them but more importantly we are have prepared well for the match. We have had a good lead-in to the game and we are looking forward to it.”

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip