League Preview: Sligo Rovers -v- Galway United

Sat, Jun 17 2017

Credit: Laszlo Geczo

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SLIGO ROVERS

The Bit O’Red return after the mid-season break in slightly better form than their Connacht Rivals as they have gone unbeaten in their previous two games against Finn Harps and Bray Wanderers.

 

Sligo still find themselves in the bottom three, however, and manager Gerard Lyttle is looking for his side to start winning games.

 

"We felt disappointment as we parted after the Harps game for the mid-season break. We have done okay since I've come in - just okay- and we need to start winning games,” he told the club’s website.

 

“We played nearly all of the top teams in May with some good draws and wanted June to be about winning games, starting with Harps. So it was disappointment and we left the players with a message ahead of their break. This week we have seen a focus in training and they must bring that into Saturday.

 

"Galway are a team I've seen quite a bit of. They play a nice style of football, like ourselves, and it will be a tough game. We owe them one after the League Cup game and we want to make this a hard place to come."

 

Lyttle has added two to his squad during the mid-season break, Rhys McCabe and Benny Igiehon, neither of which are available until July.

 

"Benny has trained with us all week and Rhys is coming in shortly. We also welcome back some of the young players that we have left out in recent weeks while they complete exams. That's important for more numbers in training and add to the sharpness of everyone,” Lyttle said.

 

Liam Martin has recovered from an ankle problem which looked set to rule him out for the all of the month of June. Daniel Kearns looks likely to be fit for Sligo’s game against Bohemians next week while Chris Kenny is suspended for tonight’s game.

 

 

GALWAY UNITED

Shane Keegan’s men are coming into the Connacht Derby on the back of three straight defeats.

 

The Tribesmen currently occupy the bottom of the Premier Division table and their manager recognizes the importance of this game in terms of getting out of their current predicament.

 

"The players are in good shape after the week away,” he told Galway United’s website.

 

"We worked very hard on Monday and Tuesday and that set the tone for the week. Everybody is fit and raring to go. It's a real big game to be diving back in to.

 

"Any game between the teams in the bottom six is going to be huge.

 

"We were disappointed with our results heading into the mid-season break but we felt we played well against Derry City. We gave ourselves too much of a mountain to climb and we can't afford slow starts in games."

 

United will be stretched in the centre of the field with both Gavan Holohan and David Cawley serving suspensions for tonight’s game. Keegan’s latest signing at Eamonn Deacy Park, Eoin McCormack, is eligible to make his debut. Galway’s Under 19 goalkeeper James Tierney will also travel with the first team, filling in for Ciaran Nugent who departed the club over the mid-season break.

 

Referee: Graham Kelly

 

 

MATCH STATS

Tonight’s game will be the 75th meeting between the sides in league competition.

 

The Bit O’Red have come out on top in nearly half of their league meetings with 35 wins.

 

While Galway United managed to defeat their rivals in the EA Sports Cup at The Showgrounds earlier this year, their last league victory in Sligo was a 0-2 win over 20 years ago in 1996 with goals from Mark Herrick and John ‘Jumbo’ Brennan.

 

 

BETTING

Sligo Rovers 6/5; Draw 12/5; Galway United 11/5.

 

PREDICTION

Sligo Rovers 1-0 Galway United

 

 

Sligo Rovers

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Daniel Kearns.

Suspended: Chris Kenny.

 

Galway United

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: Gavan Holohan, David Cawley.