The Hoops would go back into third place with a win over their cross city rivals Bohs on Friday night (kick off 8pm). Rovers got back to winning ways after their Europa League exit with an excellent 1-0 win away to Dundalk on Sunday.
A well taken early Gary Shaw goal put them temporarily into third until Derry’s win in Finn Park on Monday. However with City not playing till Sunday, Rovers will go back above the Candystripes if they can beat Bohs.
“We managed the game really well,” was how Hoops Head Coach Stephen Bradley described the Dundalk performance when he spoke with shamrockrovers.ie. ahead of the Dublin Derby. “We outfought them. We showed we were fitter and stronger and then we outplayed them. I thought we beat them in every department.
“Gary Shaw was excellent all day, apart from a really good goal. He opened up really well on the edge of the box against a good defender, one on one with the keeper and didn’t panic. He just slotted it in and it was a great finish.
"Graham Burke was outstanding again. He was unplayable at times. I think they were doing their best to kick him and get him sent off but he kept his cool. He kept playing his game and ran the game really.
“It was a great feeling (in the dressing room afterwards). A lot of tired bodies, they put a lot into Thursday, especially in the second half and a lot into Sunday. The lads were obviously delighted, they knew it was a big win. They weren’t surprised because we’ve beaten them already this season and we knew that we had it in us to go and do it again.”
Bradley has three wins from the three home games that he has managed against the Gypsies and will want to make it four-in-a-row on Friday and, including their EA Sports Cup win, the Hoops are looking to make it four wins over Bohs this season.
“It’s always a big game but it’s massive because we’ve beaten them three times this year and it would be good to go and do it four times. It’s one as a player you’ve got a chance to put yourself in that bracket that the fans will look back at in a few years and remember we beat them four times that year.
“And how nice would it be to be one of those players to say I was part of that squad. For a player to be able to say we did a clean sweep over Bohs in one season would be massive in a few years for them.
“Bohs are going to come and be dangerous and give it everything. It’s their cup final. We’ve got to make sure it’s our cup final as well, we’ve got to meet them head on.
"I watched them against Derry, it’s hard when you’re watching them against other teams because you know they’re always different against us. They raise their game against us. So we’ve got to go and make sure we raise our levels and be ready to go and match them head on and go further again.
“I expect a big crowd. Away in Europe we bring great support, away in Dundalk straight after Europe, anywhere we’ve been this year whether we’ve won, drawn or lost the fans have been different class.”
Bohs travel to Tallaght on the back of three straight defeats and in bad need of some points in this Dublin Derby. Having garnered 13 points from six games to position themselves well clear of the relegation zone, they have lost their last three league games.
Either side of a losing away to Finn Harps, they lost at home to Dundalk and Derry City.
Those defeats have dragged the Dalymount Park outfit back into the relegation battle. Another loss on Friday and results elsewhere could see Bohs sit fourth from bottom by the end of the evening, just one place clear of the relegation zone.
While Bohs were certainly unlucky to lose to Dundalk after conceding a last minute goal a couple of weeks ago, last Friday night they didn’t deserve anything from their game against Derry City.
The Candystripes were well worth their 1-0 win and Bohs boss Keith Long was unsurprisingly disappointed with his team’s efforts in that game.
“We didn’t work their goalkeeper enough tonight,” said Long speaking to RTÉ after last Friday’s loss to Derry. “We didn’t create too many clear cut scoring opportunities.
"We weren’t decisive enough in the final third. It is a tough one because we want to do well here. It is another defeat at home.”
Bohs have played in Tallaght twice already this season – losing in the league 2-1 and being eliminated from the EA Sports Cup after a 3-1 defeat.
The Gypsies do at least have former Shamrock Rovers defender Rob Cornwall available for selection following his suspension last week but their captain Derek Pender’s hamstring injury means he misses out once again while Eoin Wearen also remains sidelined.
Referee: Ben Connolly.
Last week’s away win in Oriel Park was Rovers’ first in the league at the venue for six seasons. It was also their first away league win against a team who finished in the top four since 2012.
Bohs have lost five of the last six meetings between the teams as Rovers look to make it four wins in a row over Bohs in all competitions for the first time since 1990. Last October Bohs earned the bragging rights in the derby with a 1-0 win over Rovers at Dalymount Park through a Roberto Lopes goal (prior to the defender’s move to the Hoops this season).
Dinny Corcoran is the top scorer for Bohs with 11 league goals, with Gary Shaw four behind as Rovers top scorer. Both Shaw and Graham Burke have scored eight goals in all competitions for Shamrock Rovers.
Shamrock Rovers 8/13; Draw 13/5; Bohs 5/1.
Injured: Paul Corry, Danny Devine.
Doubtful: Ronan Finn.
Injured: Derek Pender, Eoin Wearen