ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
St Patrick’s Athletic come into this game on the back of a crushing 5-1 defeat against Sligo Rovers in the second leg of their Setanta Sports Cup semi-final second leg, however The Saint’s have been in decent form in the league, winning two of their last three games.
Saint’s boss Liam Buckley is hoping for a well contested game and hopes that there will be a sizeable crowd in Richmond Park come kick off on Friday night.
“Bohemians have been going well since Owen took charge of the club in the latter half of last season. Dublin derbies between the two clubs are always well contested, and the fact that it is also Good Friday, it should mean that people will have more free time so we should see a big turnout from both sets of fans,” Liam Buckley told stpatsfc.com.
Buckley is aware of the threat posed by Owen Heary’s Bohemians, but Buckley is hopeful that his squad will be raring to after Monday’s Setanta Sports Cup exit at the hands of Sligo Rovers.
“I’d fully expect them (Bohemians) to come to Inchicore looking for a result, however our lads are keen to bounce back from Monday’s loss so we’ll hopefully get the performance right and get a result.”
The Saints are once again without the services of goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin who continues to recover from a hamstring injury; Ger O’Brien and Ken Oman face late fitness tests after picking up knocks in recent outings; while midfield duo Greg Bolger and Killian Brennan serve an additional one match ban after their respective sending offs against Dundalk a fortnight ago.
Last time out The Gypsies were beaten 1-0 by Limerick at Dalymount Park. A defeat that means that Owen Heary’s charges are still to register a victory at home this season. A record that Bohemian’s Manager, Owen Heary thinks may be down to nerves, as well as luck.
“Maybe there was a bit of nervousness too, knowing we haven’t won at Dalymount. But then you look at Stephen Traynor’s shot. It’s going in and it hits a bobble and goes wide,” Heary told bohemianfc.com.
Heary admits that The Saint’s squad is full of quality and insists that his side will have to undertake a similar game plan to the one they utilised quite successfully against Dundalk a couple of weeks ago.
“Pat's have a quality squad and they know better than anyone that they have not played to their potential. For us, it’s a bit like we were against Dundalk. We need to be positive when we have the ball and tight when we don’t have it,” The Gypsies Manager explained.
Friday’s game will see The Gypsies play their first of six matches in 18 days, a schedule that The Boh’s boss feels will be a serious test of his squad’s depth and character.
“These will be difficult games. The squad will be tested, as some of the players aren’t used to playing game after game after game. But we have to get them into the right mindset.”
In team news, The Gypsies are without Anto Murphy who continues to nurse a hamstring injury, Dinny Corcoran is out with a knock to his knee, while goalkeeper, Dean Delaney will complete is two match ban on Friday night. On a positive note club captain, Dave Mulcahy has returned from injury and is contention to make his first appearance of the 2014 campaign.
Referee: Graham Kelly.
St Pat’s conceded just seven goals at Richmond Park last season, they have already reached that tally this campaign, after just seven games.
Last week’s defeat to Limerick was the first time that The Gypsies failed to score this season.
Both games between these sides at Inchicore finished 1-1 last season.
St Patrick’s Athletic 4/7; Draw 13/5; Bohemians 5/1
St Pat’s and Bohemians have both played attractive brands of football this season so there is sure to be goals in this one. I’m going to go for a 2-2 draw.
St Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Rene Gilmartin (Hamstring).
Suspended: Greg Bolger, Killian Brennan.
Doubtful: Ger O’Brien, Ken Oman.
Injured: Anto Murphy (Hamstring), Dinny Corcoran (Knee).
Suspended: Dean Delany.