FAI Cup Preview: Bohemians -v- Shamrock Rovers

Thu, Sep 26 2019

Bohs and Rovers will renew their rivalry on Friday evening Credit: Eddie Lennon (ETPhotos)

BOHEMIANS

The Gypsies will be looking to reach the FAI Cup final for the first time since 2008 when they host arch-rivals Shamrock Rovers in the last four on Friday evening evening at Dalymount Park (kick-off is at 7.45pm).

Bohemians have had a rather turbulent journey to the last four of the cup, only edging past First Division opposition on two occasions.

However, Keith Long’s side will be buoyed by their recent record against their bitter rivals – with only one defeat in their previous nine games against the Hoops.

Their eight game unbeaten streak against Stephen Bradley’s side was brought to a halt during the sides most recent clash at Tallaght Stadium – with Graham Burke scoring the winner.

Speaking to the Irish Sun this week, captain Derek Pender insists that his side must control their emotions ahead of what will be a heated showdown in Phibsborough.

“It’s a great occasion. Derbies in the last three or four years between ourselves and Rovers have been unbelievable.

“The crowds at them - you see people on the street when I’m going to work on a Friday and they’re in Rovers and Bohs jerseys because it’s derby day, a great occasion to be involved in.

“You have to control your emotions, but I think we have done that really well over the last few years in the derby.

“I don’t think we’ve had a man sent off in a derby in two or three years. It’s a fine line and you have to control your emotions because the crowd drive you on that much.”

Bohs are expected to be without the services of forward Andre Wright – while Daniel Mandroiu is considered a major doubt as is Keith Buckley and Conor Levingston.

Long-term absentees Dinny Corcoran and Cristian Magerusan will be joined by full-back Darragh Leahy on the treatment table.

SHAMROCK ROVERS

Bradley’s Hoops will be seeking to make it two Dublin Derby wins on the bounce when they make the trip to Dalymount Park on Friday evening in the FAI Cup.

A win for Shamrock Rovers will see them reach the FAI Cup final for the first time since 2010 – with a potential date with destiny at the Aviva Stadium against either Dundalk or Sligo Rovers in the final in store.

“It’s the biggest game of the season for us and one we’re really looking forward to,” Head Coach Stephen Bradley told his club’s media team.  

“It doesn’t get any bigger – a semi-final playing against your biggest rivals. It should be a great game.

“There’s been huge interest in all our league games with Bohs this season and with this one, with a chance to get to the final it creates even more of a buzz from the neutrals. That can only be healthy for everyone involved and Irish football.

“We’ll go there with a game plan to go and win the game. The players are focused and ready so they’re looking forward to it. Our aim is to go to Dalymount and make sure we’re in the final.

“You can only go on your last game, so it obviously helps going into this one with a win over them not so long ago.

“But we know what derbies are like, they can throw up anything and we’ve got to be ready for every scenario.”

In terms of team news for the visitors, Neil Farrugia is expected to make his long-awaited return from injury – while Joey O’Brien is rated as doubtful.

Referee: Robert Hennessy.

 

MATCH STATS

This will be the first meeting between the sides in the FAI Cup since 2006, where the Hoops came out on top with a 2-0 win over the Gypsies in a third round replay at Dalymount Park.

Shamrock Rovers are winless at the home of Irish football since May 2017 – when Stephen Bradley’s side won 2-0 thanks to goals from both Brandon Miele and Trevor Clarke.

This will be only the first time Keith Long’s charges will face a Premier Division in the FAI Cup this term – having seen off First Division Shelbourne and Longford Town before swatting aside the challenge of Crumlin United in the last eight.

The Hoops on the other hand have defeated Finn Harps, Drogheda United and Galway United to reach the last four of the FAI Cup – scoring on seven occasions in three games thus far.  

BETTING

Bohemians 11/4; Draw 11/5; Shamrock Rovers 5/6.

PREDICTION

Bohemians 2 - 1 Shamrock Rovers

 

Bohemians

Injured: Darragh Leahy, Dinny Corcoran, Cristian Magerusan.

Doubtful: Andre Wright, Keith Buckley, Danny Mandroiu, Conor Levingston.

Suspended: None.

 

Shamrock Rovers

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Joey O’Brien.

Suspended: None.