Date: 7:35 p.m. April 29, 2011
Venue: Terryland Park
Ref: Paul Tuite
Scored: 7'- Karl Sheppard 7'
Sean Connor's side have only scored one goal at home this season and have only picked up one point, a draw with UCD at the beginning of the league and hosting the free scoring champions could prove another insurmountable task. A task not helped by the forced absence of Alan Murphy, Gary Curran and Joseph Yoffe. Murphy and Yoffe in particular have severely dented the offensive aspiration of United, an aspect of their performances thus far that have been found most lacking.
Sean Maher does return from suspension for the Tribesmen and will provide a deterrent from Rovers aerial threat, a threat that Galway couldn't deal with against Bray Wanderers last time out, losing 2-0.
Michael O'Neill is demanding complacency has no place in Shamrock Rovers preparations as they seek to maintain the lead across the halfway mark of the campaign, "It is an opportunity for us to finish the first round of games on 20 points, which would be a very good return. We’ll be expecting a tough game from Galway. While they didn’t have much time or funding to put a squad together, Sean Connor is always good at getting players in, and getting them to play for him. So we are not expecting it to be easy."
Gary Twigg is still nursing a hamstring injury, as are Stephen O'Donnell and Craig Sives, while Chris Turner and Ronan Finn will undergo late fitness tests for calf and knee injuries respectively.
O'Neill however is one manager in the league who can cope with such injuries given the strength of his squad, and the absence of Twigg has not curtailed their fortunes against Sligo Rovers in the Setanta Sports Cup or against city rivals St Patrick's Athletic. Rovers in fact have dropped points only against Derry City, Bohemians and surprise package Bray Wanderers, who they suffered their solitary defeat to. Indeed it is Wanderers who go into this weekend as the pretenders to the throne, trailing Rovers by a point in the league standings.
Connor will send out a United side to compete with Rovers but, with little in attacking depth in his squad it's hard to see them turning around their poor home record this Friday evening. The only sure positive before kick-off will be the large gate receipts Terryland will avail of on the back of continued good home support and always large travelling numbers offered by O'Neill's Shamrock Rovers.
Injured: Alan Murphy, Joseph Yoffe, Gary Curran
Injured:Gary Twigg(Hamstring), Stephen O'Donnel(Hamstring), Craig Sives(Hamstring)
Doubtful:Chris Turner(Calf), Ronan Finn(Knee)
Paddy Power Odds:Home: 6/1 Draw: 3/1 Away 4/9
Extratime Prediction: Galway United 1-4 Shamrock Rovers