Four of the top five clash tonight in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division with the possibility that Shamrock Rovers could overtake Derry City at the top of the table.

The Candystripes, held to a 1-1 draw by Bohemians last Friday, host St Patrick's Athletic, while the Hoops welcome Sligo Rovers to Tallaght Stadium.

These sides met 10 days ago but matches from the third series in the league have been brought forward from July in order to free up the schedule for their European campaigns

All four will compete in the Champions League or Europa Conference League.

Thoughts will be firmly on the league tonight, however.

Derry were given a controversial penalty and found it tough against Bohs.

They dismantled Pat’s 4-0 in Richmond Park, while the Saints recovered from that loss by being on the right end of that scoreline against Drogheda three days ago.

Jack Malone is unlikely to be involved for the home side as he recovers from a hip flexor injury.
The young talent coming through Inchicore is very exciting as demonstrated in Head in the Game Park on Friday.

Sam Curtis became the club’s youngest player to start a league game in the modern era with the 16-year-old performing well.

Kyle Robinson bagged his first goal on debut, while Darragh Burns netted the opener.

Saints boss Tim Clancy is happy to get another opportunity to face Derry despite the mauling in Dublin 8: "I think after last week's performance against Derry, it's probably a good thing that we are facing them again so quickly.

"The whole lot of us were disappointed after last week, and we know that it fell well below the standards we expect at this club, so now we've not an opportunity to go up there on Monday and put in a way better performance than last week that's our main aim, to try to get a positive result.

"We have to try to find consistency. We've had a few good performances and then we have a poor result, and then a few more good performances, so there's no better way to try and start fining that consistency then at The Brandywell. There'll be a packed crowd again and we're looking forward to it."

St Patrick's Athletic had a tough night against Derry but produced an immediate response

Jamie Lennon (foot), Adam Murphy (hamstring) and Ronan Coughlan (hamstring) will all miss the game for Clancy’s side.

It was a night to celebrate for Shamrock Rovers fans last Friday with the news that Stephen Bradley is staying at the club.

Their routine victory over Finn Harps made it a party atmosphere and they’ll be confident of backing it up again tonight.

Sligo Rovers have claimed two draws so far against the Hoops, but they really struggled against Shelbourne in a 2-1 defeat at the weekend. Bit O’ Red goalkeeper Ed McGinty kept his side in the game during the second half on a night where Sligo were second-best for the vast majority of proceedings..

Despite a fourth loss of the year, Sligo are still well-placed to challenge for Europe but they’ll need to find their very best form to claim a result in Tallaght.

Buckley feels his side can put it up to the champions again.

He said: '’We have played Shamrock Rovers twice now so far this season and this game comes quickly after the last game just over a week ago so we are both well aware of each other and we know both sides have been fairly evenly matched so far in the previous games.

"Tallaght is always a difficult venue and the crowd will be right behind them so the lads will have to be at our best to take something from the game.

"We go there knowing we can match them and fingers crossed we can get a positive result."

Sligo Rovers are unbeaten against Shamrock Rovers so far this season

Shane Blaney remains a doubt after missing Friday’s game. Garry Buckley comes back in following his suspension and Liam Buckley expects to have everyone else available.

For Bradley, he was pleased with his side’s night’s work against Harps but has warned of the threat Sligo can be if they perform.

"I thought we were very good last Friday. We started the game really well and managed to get the three goals in the first half. That killed the game which was really good because some of our play deserved the goals.

"Sligo have shown it will be a difficult game because we’ve played them twice this year and haven’t managed to win either game. We’ve got to focus and do everything possible to get the three points."

Lee Grace (groin) will definitely miss the game while Bradley will check on other doubts before the game.

Tonight's games will also have a factor on this weekend, as again all four clubs face-off, this time with the top two clashing in Tallaght and Sligo host Pat's on Saturday evening.