St. Patrick's Athletic -v- Shamrock RoversMon, Sep 24 2012
The battle for European places is still well and truly alive both these sides will be hoping for three points and for Rovers’ manager Brian Laws, it’s a chance to record his first win as Hoops boss. (Kick-off 7:45pm)
ST PATRICKS ATHLETIC
For Pats, this will be a season defining week, hosting Shamrock Rovers on Tuesday night, and then on Friday they travel to Drogheda United.
They endured a two hour war in Drogheda last Monday, but progressed to the FAI Cup semi-finals, something which will have made their recovery a little bit easier.
The Saints and the Hoops have met three times this season resulting in a win a piece and a draw, the latter was the most recent outcome when the sides met in Tallaght.
Pats current run has seen them go seven games unbeaten, five of which were in the league, but Liam Buckley knows there are no easy games left.
“Nobody should be in any doubt that this will be another tough game for us and that there will be a lot of tough games between now and the end of the season.
”Each club is playing for something, whether it be the fight against relegation or for a European place, so there's a lot to be won and lost over the next few weeks,” he added.
Mark Rossiter is still out, but there are doubts surrounding John Russell (ankle), Hernany Macedo (knee) and Stephen O'Flynn who picked up an illness.
For Brian Laws and Shamrock Rovers, things aren’t getting anything easier. The former Burnley manager stepped into the Hoops hot seat and his first game was in a cup-final which he lost, now he has a Dublin derby to contend with.
The Hoops had to endure boo’s from their home support on Saturday, but Brian Laws is experienced enough to know the way to silence the boo-boys is to start winning and it’s something he aims to begin on Tuesday night.
“Losing in Saturday's cup final was very disappointing, especially to lose in the manner which we did. We gifted them two goals, and after that we always had a uphill battle. But we need to get over that quickly as we have a big game to play on Tuesday.
“We still have a lot left to play for, as not only do we need to qualify for Europe ourselves, but we can also have a big say in what goes on around in terms of all the European spots. This game is huge for both ourselves and St Patrick's and we need to make sure we are in the right frame of mind for it.”
Laws will have to contend without the services of Graham Gartland and Conor Winn who miss out through injury while Conor Powell, Stephen Rice and Pat Sullivan are all suspended for the game.
Ciaran Kilduff suffered an ankle injury during Saturday's EA Sports Cup final, and while it is not as serious as first suspected, he will face a late fitness test before the game. Ronan Finn will also face a fitness test before the tie as he received a couple of knocks in Saturday's cup final.
Referee: N. Doyle
St Pats 21/20, Draw 23/10, Shamrock Rovers 5/2
Rovers never looked up for the cup final on Saturday, it’s a case of new manager same attitude, Pats to win 2-0
St Pats Injury News: Mark Rosster, John Russell (doubt), Hernany Macedo (doubt) Stephen O'Flynn (doubt)
St Pats Suspension News: None
Shamrock Rovers Injury News: Graham Gartland, Conor Winn
Shamrock Rovers Suspension News: Conor Powell, Stephen Rice, Pat Sullivan
P.J. generally covers Drogheda games at HD Park and can generally be found at any Dublin ground when of a loose end on a Friday night.