Just when it appeared Shamrock Rovers were easing away into the distance, Dundalk ensured that a possibility of a title race remains open in the SSE Airtricity League.

The Lilywhites' 1-0 win over the champions last week means there are just five points between the sides with Dundalk having a game in hand to try and cut that gap even further.

Stephen Bradley's Rovers will be aiming to bounce back straight away but Friday sees them face into what always has always got the potential to be a tricky Dublin derby against Bohemians.

While anything could happen in that game, which will be live on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player, former Ireland, St Patrick's Athletic and Drogheda United player Keith Treacy expects the Hoops to have their fingers nowhere near the panic button when it comes to the title race.

"There's a lot of older heads and a couple of younger heads in the Shamrock Rovers dressing room, I don't think they'll be fazed by losing (to Dundalk)," said the former Blackburn and Burnley midfielder on the RTÉ Soccer Podcast.

"But they're still five points ahead. I know Dundalk have a game in hand but they'll be saying, 'We're five points ahead, we're into the second half of the league now and we can keep Dundalk at arm's length'.

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"I don't think Shamrock Rovers will panic whatsoever. They're an experienced bunch, they're ahead at the minute and they'll keep Dundalk at arm's length.

"But we hope there's another slip-up there for Rovers at some point from a neutral's point of view that we get a proper title race."

Bohemians meanwhile come into the derby off the back of a win over Shelbourne but have lost both derbies against Rovers this season and have found consistency elusive.

"He's trying to put together a 90 minute performance which is a very difficult thing to do," said Treacy of Bohs boss Keith Long.

"You will get 10-15 minutes in games where you're on top and things feel good and you'll also have 15-20 minutes of the game when you're under the cosh and you just need to weather the storm.

"Bohs have been okay when they're on top but when the opposition team have started to get on top, they do go under and I think that's where Keith Long is a little bit disappointed because they've shown in the games that they're good enough and have enough quality to dominate the game but drop back and invite a little bit of pressure.

"Keith Long won't be happy with that but it's a derby so you'd expect Bohs to be full of legs, running and desire and I do think they will be on top at some point in the game.

"It might only be a 10 minute period. But if they can make that 5-10 minutes count and hit the back of the net and be really resilient in their defence, then they do have half a chance."

Watch Shamrock Rovers v Bohemians live on Friday on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from 7.30pm, follow our live blog on rte.ie/sport or on the RTÉ News app.

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