Shamrock Rovers -v- Dundalk: Where can I watch it and what do I need to know?

Fri, Feb 28 2020

Shamrock Rovers fans make their presence known during the FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium in November. Credit: Conor Ryan (ETPhotos)

First meets second in the Premier Division today although, with just four goals separating the sides, it could as easily be termed first versus first.

The two heavyweights of Irish football meet for the first time this season following the cancellation of the President’s Cup earlier this month.

Dundalk, the most dominant side in recent League of Ireland history, travel to meet the most successful team in the league’s history.

The last time they met, at the Aviva Stadium in November, Rovers just about edged the game on penalties to lift a record 25th FAI Cup – their first for 32 years.

An enthralling  game had seen Aaron McEneff appear to give Rovers the win from the penalty spot late on, only for Michael Duffy to pop up with an equaliser deep in injury time.

While Dundalk will have been understandably upset to miss out on a historic treble, the result is perhaps more significant in that it signalled Rovers’ first major trophy following a decade of turmoil.

Friday night’s meeting will offer the first taster of where these two sides lie in 2020, and give an indication of whether Rovers are capable of narrowing that gap further – or surpassing it completely

What time is the match?

Kick-off is 7.45pm.

Where is the match?

Tallaght Stadium, Dublin 24.

Who is the referee?

Rob Hennessy from Clare is the referee.

Are there tickets available?

A limited number of east stand tickets are available from Rovers’ website here.

Where can I watch it?

The game will be shown live in the Republic of Ireland on RTÉ2.

Can I stream it online?

Republic of Ireland residents can watch the game on the RTÉ Player here.

Who are they key players to watch?

Even had five-goal striker Graham Burke been fit, eyes would inevitably would have turned to the exciting Jack Byrne in midfield.

The senior international has admitted himself he hasn’t performed to his best in this fixture to date but with more of the creative burden to shoulder he will be the one to make or break Rovers.

One who has rarely failed to rise to the big occasion is Lilywhites winger Michael Duffy, whose stunning second-half strike at Oriel Park last year sealed the title in this fixture.

The winger got off the mark for the season in Monday’s 3-0 win over Cork City and his set-piece excellence was the source of each of the first two victories over Derry City and Shelbourne.

Team news:

Rovers will be without top scorer Graham Burke and Sean Kavanagh through injury, while Gary O’Neill may miss out on compassionate grounds due to bereavement.

Sean Murray and John Mountney are sidelined for Dundalk, but Patrick McEleney and Darragh Leahy could feature and Georgie Kelly has returned to full training.

Read the full match preview here.

Betting:

Shamrock Rovers 6/5; Draw 2/1; Dundalk 11/5.

Full list of SSE Airtricity League fixtures (all 7.45pm kick-off unless stated):

Shamrock Rovers -v- Dundalk (8pm)

Shelbourne -v- St Patrick’s Athletic

Derry City -v- Bohemians

Cork City -v- Finn Harps

Drogheda United -v- Longford Town

UCD -v- Cobh Ramblers

Athlone Town -v- Cabinteely

Bray Wanderers -v- Wexford

Saturday, February 29th

Sligo Rovers -v- Waterford

Shamrock Rovers II -v- Galway United