Sligo Rovers will look to stay in touch in the top half of the table as they welcome St Patrick's Athletic to The Showgrounds this evening, kick-off 7:45pm.

The Bit O’Red would find themselves seven points adrift of the automatic European places should they suffer a defeat to fourth-placed Saints.

Saints are the side with form coming into the fixture as the Dublin club took four points over last weekend’s double header, where they beat Drogheda 4-0 before securing an impressive points against league leaders, Derry City, who lost top spot as a result of the stalemate.

Sligo, on the other hand, lost twice last weekend on the road, with defeats to Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne, but will look to the first game between the sides where Liam Buckley’s side got the better of the manager’s former team.

Bit O’ Red 'keeper Ed McGinty should return to the squad following injury, and Shane Blaney and David Cawley will also return, but Max Mata will miss out having hobbled off on Monday. Jordan Hamilton and Nando Pijnaker are also doubts.

‘’We were bitterly disappointed not to pick up any results over the weekend last week," said Sligo Rovers manager, Liam Buckley.

"I thought we didn’t start well in Tolka Park against Shelbourne and some mistakes on our part cost us a couple of goals. The second half was better but, overall, we know we need to do better.

"We started much better on Monday night. I thought we passed it well at times but just couldn’t create any clear-cut chances in the first half. Even in the second half we created more chances and could have had two or three goals ourselves.

"They are probably the best team in the league and when they can bring on the four quality players they did at half-time that changed things."

"The atmosphere at our last home game was brilliant. It really spurred the lads on and I’d ask all supporters to get behind us again and hopefully we can get a positive result on the night."

Sligo hope to have regular shot-stopper Ed McGinty back in the starting XI

For St Pat’s, Jamie Lennon (foot), Adam Murphy (hamstring) and Ronan Coughlan (hamstring) will all miss the game, while Paddy Barrett continues his recovery from surgery.

"It was important to get a positive result in Derry after what happened here a couple of weeks ago," said Saints boss Tim Clancy, referring to the reverse fixture, where his side were beaten 4-0 by the Candystripes.

"And we had a good win at Drogheda too, which is a hard place to go, we've kept two clean sheets in a row also which is good, so we've got a little bit of momentum now heading into Saturday.

"It's going to be another tough game in Sligo, I don't think Liam will mind me saying it but the surface and the state of the pitch probably won't suit either team, it's usually a very, very good pitch.

"We'll go into the game having played them in the second game of the season, which seems like an eternity ago now. That was a disappointing evening for us losing 2-1, and it's certainly something we want to put right."

The game kicks off at 7.45pm and turnstiles open from 6.30pm.