Sligo Rovers -v- UCDSun, Aug 19 2012
League leaders Sligo Rovers welcome UCD to The Showgrounds on Monday evening where the hosts will be hoping to continue their fine league run.
Both sides recorded victories on Friday evening, with Sligo defeating Shelbourne 3-1, and UCD beating Cork City 3-1.
Rovers are unbeaten in the league since UCD defeated them 1-0 at the UCD Bowl in May. UCD, on the other hand, have lost five out of their nine games since they last played Sligo.
Ian Baraclough has no fresh injury or suspension worries for the visit of the students. Danny North is still sidelined with a cruciate ligament injury.
The Sligo Rovers boss says this is a huge game for his side: “It is a massive game in the season, and because it is the next game. We had Saturday off to recover from Shelbourne and went through preparation on Sunday.”
“We have to be fully focused on this game. I want to avenge the defeat to UCD for a start because that one defeat is a blot on our copybook at the moment. But that night we were beaten soundly. That wasn’t a fluke. UCD beat us well and these are big games coming up now.”
“It will be a tough one. There will be someone that puts together a run of wins from teams behind us and if we don’t look after ourselves, they will make up ground. Nobody hands you anything, you have to be professional, work hard and treat each game the same as the previous one.”
UCD are second from bottom in the Airtricity Premier Division, sitting just one point above Dundalk. Martin Russell’s men have won their last two games, overcoming Cork City and Shelbourne.
The much talked about midfielder Paul Corry returns from suspension. Martin Russell is still without Graham Rusk, Cillian Morisson and Samir Belhout.
Goalkeeper John Kelly is still suffering with a knee injury, both Chris Mulhall and Tom O’Halloran are struggling with groin injuries.
Manager Martin Russell is relishing the challenge that faces his side: “We’ve had a good week with two wins and six valuable points, we go to Sligo knowing that we are facing one of the toughest challenges in the league at the moment.”
“I’ve been delighted with the application of the players throughout the season, and we have got the results in the previous two games when earlier in the season our good performances didn’t yield points. The wins will boost us ahead of the games ahead.”
“Sligo at home are formidable team at home in front of a big Showgrounds crowd so it will be a tough game but one we are looking forward to.”
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.
UCD are the only side to have beaten Sligo Rovers in the Airtricity Premier Division this year.
Graham Rusk is UCD’s leading goal scorer this season, with seven league goals under his belt.
Twelve different players have netted for Sligo Rovers this season.
Sligo Rovers 1/5; Draw 5/1; UCD 11/1.
A 2-1 win for Sligo Rovers.
Sligo Rovers Injury News: Danny North.
Sligo Rovers Suspension News: None.
UCD Injury News: John Kelly (knee), Tom O’Halloran (groin), Chris Mulhall (groin), Graham Rusk (shin), Cillian Morisson (shin), Samir Belhout (foot).
UCD Suspension News: None.