New Shamrock Rovers striker Daniel Carr cannot wait for the chance to make his competitive debut for the Hoops in ...Mon, Feb 12 2018
A re-arranged fixture sees seventh-placed Limerick host fourth-placed Shamrock Rovers at Market’s Field, in an all-so-important tie for both sides (kick off 7.45pm).
Limerick come into the game off the back of Munster derby win against Cobh Ramblers in the FAI Cup first round.
Garbhan Coughlan scored two and Chiedozie Ogbene added a third in the first half at St Colman’s Park. They will play fellow Premier Division side Finn Harps in the next round (see here for the full cup draw).
That cup win on Saturday was well overdue, as their league form has dipped dramatically in recent weeks to the point were they are precariously near the danger zone.
They only have a point more than both Finn Harps and St. Patrick’s Athletic, who are in ninth and eighth respectively, so getting wins sooner rather than later is so crucial if they don’t want to go back down to the First Division.
Tonight’s game is their game in hand over the sides below them in the table, so getting a positive result would go a long way to arresting the poor form they are in, as well as giving themselves confidence ahead of hosting another Dublin club, Bohemians, on Saturday.
From their 24 games played, the Shannonsiders have a record of seven wins, seven draws and ten defeats in the division. Since Neil McDonald took over in May, they have accumulated a poor three wins, two draws and six defeats from 11 games in the league.
Rather alarmingly, they’ve only won once in their last seven games and that was against bottom side Drogheda United. That’s relegation form.
It’s not all bad news though, as they do have Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi fit for this one, who has netted 10 league goals so far and netted one of them back in April in a 1-1 draw against tonight’s opponents. New signing Peter Berki could also feature.
A win tonight for the Blues would really be so pivotal in easing those relegation fears that are in the air around Market’s Field.
The Hoops come into this game off the back of two consecutive wins in cup competitions but two consecutive losses in the bread and butter of the league.
Speaking to the club's official website, head coach Stephen Bradley noted that the next couple of games are all so important for his charges.
"We've got two away games before Derry pIay (who are in third place) on Sunday and we need to win them. If we do that it makes it a lot tighter so it's an important game for us.
“Limerick have changed a little bit since the new manager came in. I know they'll be up for it and they'll want to put on a performance in front of their fans. We've got to be ready for that and be ready to go and battle.”
Bradley played for Tuesday night’s opposition for two years in 2012 and 2013, making 55 appearances, and was in complimentary mood when discussing his former employers.
“They're a really good club with some really good people behind the scenes. They try and do things the right way like ourselves.
“When I signed there their whole ambition was to get back to Markets Field. They've done that now and they're building on it. It's a great place to go and play, it's a big pitch.
“I think we were a different team (the last time Rovers played Limerick) then. At that time you could see when we got to 1-0 we were a bit nervy and dropped too deep and they caught us in the last few minutes.
“We won up at Oriel Park and we were really good, and since then other than Bohs I think we've been good. We just need to keep playing the way we've been playing.
New signing Cameron King comes into the match day squad.
“He goes straight into contention. He's impressed me, he's come in and done well. He looks dangerous attacking.
“He can run at pace at defenders and makes good decisions. He can play left wing, right wing or in behind the striker so he'll be a good addition."
Speaking to extratime.ie after the FAI Cup win over non-league Glenville on Friday night, centre-half David Webster labelled the next two league games, tonight and Galway away on Friday, as 'winnable' games.
“Six points is the target. They are two games we feel we can go and win. It is about bringing a performance and if we do that we will win 9 games out of 10 (see here for full interview).
If Rovers win tonight, they’ll cut the gap to Derry, who are in the final European spot, to just five points, with eight games left.
Referee: Graham Kelly
The sides have met 130 times in the league with Limerick winning 32 times to Rovers' 67. There has been 31 draws. There has been an average of 2.6 goals per game in this fixture.
Both sides are looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat this Tuesday, Rovers not having lost three-in-a-row since August 2013 whereas Limerick haven’t since July 2015.
Rovers have not drawn an away game so far this season.
Limerick 2/1; Draw 23/10; Shamrock Rovers 5/4
Limerick 0-1 Shamrock Rovers
Injured: Sam Bone (cheekbone), Luke Byrne.
Doubtful: Roberto Lopes (illness), Dan Devine (ankle).
Suspended: Graham Burke.