ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
St Patrick’s Athletic will look to head into the midseason break in the top half of the table with a positive result as they host Sligo in Richmond Park (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Inchicore side will hope for a repeat of their last month's 2-0 win over the Bit o' Red at Richmond Park.
The Saints are on a four-game losing streak – two of them at home – following last Friday's 2-0 defeat away to Waterford.
Kevin Toner was sent of early for the Saints, and Waterford broke through after the break with goals from Courtney Duffus and Ismahil Akinade.
“We are looking for a change in fortune on Friday when we face Sligo,” manager Liam Buckley told the club's website.
“We have been a little unlucky with a few injuries and suspensions effecting us over the last few games.
“However we just have to get on with things and fight and hard as we can to get the points.”
“Sligo are a good team and have seen an upturn in results under Gerard Lyttle recently.
“We have had two really tough games against them this season so we are again expecting another difficult test on Friday night.”
The Saints are without the services of Kevin Toner and Thomas Byrne through suspension, while Buckley will assess the fitness of Killian Brennan ahead of kick-off.
Christy Fagan remains out with a knee injury, and the Saints' boss gave an update on the injury suffered in training over a week ago.
“I thought we were the better side over the course of the game against Cork,” manager Gerard Lyttle told the club's media team.
“We had a bad start which you can’t afford against a side of their class. But from 20 minutes onwards we were superior team, we had a goal harshly disallowed and hit the crossbar.
“The passing was excellent, we were quick to react throughout if we lost the ball and overall I thought it was a good sign of the progress we’ve made.
“Cork caught us for the second goal as will happen when you don’t take your chances.
“It’s a lesson we’ve learned on several occasions this season and one we are trying to address.
“St Pat’s play it the right way and they’re a similar side to Derry in that they are one of the best footballing teams in the league.
“Like us, they’ve been struggling a bit for goals. However, they are really strong at home and I think it’s only Cork that have beaten them there.
“We’re looking forward to it, it’s an interesting game for us to go there and play our game. It’s a good surface and it’ll be a good one for the supporters watching I think.
Captain Kyle Callan-McFadden will sit out the game due to concussion suffered in the game against Cork City.
Gary Boylan is out for the rest of the season with a cruciate ligament injury, but Adam Morgan returns. New signing Mikey Drennan is ineligible until July.
Referee: Tomás Connolly.
The teams have met twice so far this season: a scoreless draw at the Showgrounds, and a 2-0 win for Pats in the rescheduled league game in May.
St. Patrick’s Athletic 3/4; Draw 12/5; Sligo Rovers 4/1.
St. Patrick’s Athletic 2 – 1 Sligo Rovers
St. Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Christy Fagan.
Doubtful: Killian Brennan.
Suspended: Thomas Byrne, Kevin Toner.
Injured: Gary Boylan.
Suspended: Kyle Callan-McFadden.
Unavailable: Mikey Drennan (ineligible).