Bohemians have had an encouraging start to the 2019 season with two wins from two but face their biggest test yet with the visit of Shamrock Rovers for a sold-out Dublin derby (kick-off 7.45pm).
Dinny Corcoran scored his second goal in as many games on Friday night against UCD, while Danny Mandroiu also netted his first goal for the club in a 2-0 win.
Corcoran will be looking to continue his promising start to the season tonight against a Shamrock Rovers defence who have conceded just one goal in their two games so far.
Bohs have enjoyed this particular fixture in recent times coming out on top in four of the last five meetings between the sides.
Manager Keith Long is very pleased with how his team have started the season but is expecting a very tough test this evening.
"We've beaten what's in front of us but there are tougher challenges ahead of us, starting against Shamrock Rovers,” Long told the club’s media team.
"That's not being in any way disrespectful to Finn Harps or UCD. UCD will find their rhythm and Harps have already done so getting a point against Dundalk on Friday.
"We're in a good place and it's great to have points on the board but Rovers are a different proposition.
"There is expectancy there for them to challenge and win titles so we have to be at our very best against them. It's a big step-up again and a different test for us but we're looking forward to it.
"It's a quick turnaround playing Friday to Monday but it's the same for both teams and we haven't had to travel."
The sold out signs have been up around Dalymount Park for a good few days as is always the case for a Dublin derby between Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers.
Keith Long has been delighted with the impressive numbers that have supported the team in the opening two games and has stressed the importance of the support ahead of a huge game tonight.
"It's a derby, a full house and something our new players will have to adapt to quickly. We need the crowd behind us again.
“They followed us over to Belfield in big numbers on Friday after a full home stand in Dalymount the previous week. They've given us a big lift already this season and we hope they can help us again."
Stephen Bradley and his Shamrock Rovers side have also taken maximum points from their opening two fixtures.
A last minute winner against Waterford at the RSC was followed by a 2-0 victory over Derry City on Friday night to get their home record off to the best possible start.
An encouraging stat for so early on in the season for Rovers is that they have had four different scorers in their opening two games with a healthy contribution from midfield.
Manager Stephen Bradley has been pleased with how the season has started and is looking forward to the trip across the city.
“We’re delighted with the win on Friday night because at the start of the season you’ll get scrappy games like that,” Bradley told the club’s website.
“It’s important to pick up three points and we did just that. The wind was a factor in the first half but I thought we managed the game really well. We looked in control at all times and showed a different way of winning.
“Aaron Greene was definitely a yard onside for the disallowed goal. He said it himself straight after the game and we felt it at the time.
“You get some of those throughout the year. Some go for you and some go against you.”
Rovers will be looking to improve their recent record in this fixture and Bradley says his team will be prepared no matter what way the game unfolds.
“There are a few things we’ve looked at from the Bohs games last year, things we could have done better and hopefully we can put them right on Monday night.
“They’re big games these derbies but we need to play our own game. We need to make sure we’re ready for whatever the game throws up, whether it’s a battle or a football match.
“It’s the big one for the fans and it’s a big one for us as well and we’re looking forward to it. It should be a good game with a great crowd.”
Referee: Robert Harvey
Dinny Corcoran leads the way on the goal scoring front so far this season for Bohs with two league goals in two games.
Aaron Greene, Dylan Watts, Ethan Boyle and Aaron McEneff each have one goal for Shamrock Rovers
In the last five games between these sides Bohs have come out on top in four with the other being a draw.
Bohemians 11/4; Draw 21/10; Shamrock Rovers evens.
Bohemians 2 – 2 Shamrock Rovers
Injured: Michael Barker (hamstring), Promise Omochere (ankle), Cristian Magerusan (cruciate).
Doubtful: Kevin Devaney.
Doubtful: Dylan Watts.
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