Prem
Date: 8 p.m. Sept. 20, 2019
Venue: Tallaght Stadium
Ref:
Att: 4,423
TV:



League Preview: Shamrock Rovers -v- St Patrick's Athletic

Fri, Sep 20 2019

Aaron McEneff celebrates scoring from the penalty spot when the sides met at Richmond Park earlier in the season. Credit: Michael P Ryan

SHAMROCK ROVERS

Rovers return to League of Ireland action for the first time this month when they host Dublin rivals St Patrick’s Athletic at Tallaght Stadium on Friday night (kick off 8pm - buy tickets here).

Stephen Bradley’s men have  a lot of ground to make up on first place Dundalk with ten points separating the sides with just six games to go until the end of the season.

The Hoops’ most recent outing against First Division side Galway United in the FAI Cup proved a tough test for the title challengers.

The Dublin side required a last minute winner courtesy of Lee Grace to drag them into the semi-finals of the competition where they will face Bohemians.

That being said, their tails will still be up having not lost a league game since the end of June and their last Premier Division match was a 1-0 victory over fierce rivals Bohemians.

“I’m not sure what to expect from St Pat’s because they’ve changed the team quite a bit in the last three games, against Finn Harps, UCD and Cabinteely,” Bradley told the club’s website.

“We’ve just got to be ready for whatever Pat’s bring and make sure we’re at it. Stephen O’Donnell has come in and I’m sure it’s going to give their players a lift.

“It usually happens for a few weeks where they get a buzz. They’ll come to Tallaght looking for a win so we’ve got to implement our game plan and hit our levels.

“Confidence is really high in the dressing room. The players have been excellent and the performance levels have been really high other than little patches here and there.”

Neil Farrugia is close to making a return for Rovers, with the player back in full training. Joey O’Brien is a doubt still suffering from a foot injury.

Bradley will be given a boost from the return of newly capped Republic of Ireland international Jack Byrne to his squad after he made his debut for the national team against Bulgaria.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC

It has been a mixed start for the newly appointed Saints manager Stephen O’Donnell since taking over less than a month ago.

His side’s most recent Premier Division fixture was a disappointing 0-0 draw with relegation-threatened UCD last Friday night.

However a victory over Finn Harps in Ballybofey the week before and a Leinster Senior Cup win over Cabinteely earlier mean O’Donnell has yet to be beaten in his first management role.

Shamrock Rovers are different gravy compared to the teams faced in recent weeks but O’Donnell is looking forward to the challenge.

"I'm really looking forward to it and the players are too,” O’Donnell told the club’s website.

“It's going to be a tough game. Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk have been a good bit clear of the rest this season,”

“We know we are going to be up against it. But one thing that we know we have is belief in the dressing room.

“We are going to instill a lot of belief in the dressing room when we are going to Tallaght looking to get something from the game.

"The boys have trained really well again this week, with good recovery from the games last weekend.

“We are raring to go and really looking forward to going to Tallaght full of hope and full of focus of getting a result."

The Saints will have a full contingent to choose from for their game against Shamrock Rovers.

Referee: Rob Harvey

MATCH STATS

The sides have faced each other three times this season already with Rovers coming out victorious from each fixture and the Saints unable to score each time.

Rovers have gone eight games unbeaten in the Premier Division with their last loss coming against Dundalk in June.

The Saints have only scored 26 goals this season, a figure almost as low as relegation-threatened Cork City (25), Finn Harps (25) and UCD (21).

BETTING

Shamrock Rovers 2/5; Draw 3/1; St Patrick’s Athletic 6/1.

PREDICTION

Shamrock Rovers 2 – 1 St Patrick’s Athletic

Shamrock Rovers

Injured: Neil Farrugia.

Doubtful: Joey O’Brien.

Suspended: None.

St Patrick’s Athletic

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.



Shamrock Rovers
Alan Mannus
Goalkeeper
Daniel Lafferty
Defender
Lee Grace
Defender
Ethan Boyle
Defender
Roberto Lopes
Defender
Sean Kavanagh
Midfielder
Jack Byrne
Midfielder
Graham Burke
Midfielder
Greg Bolger
Midfielder
Dylan Watts
Midfielder
Aaron Greene
Forward

Substitutes
Brandon Kavanagh
Midfield
Ronan Finn
Midfield
Graham Cummins
Forward
Aaron McEneff
Midfield
Gary O'Neill
Midfield
Thomas Oluwa
Midfield
Leon Pohls
Goalkeeper
St. Patrick's Athletic
Brendan Clarke
Goalkeeper
Lee Desmond
Defender
Ciaran Kelly
Defender
Kevin Toner
Defender
David Webster
Defender
Cian Coleman
Midfielder
Dean Clarke
Midfielder
Ian Bermingham
Midfielder
Darragh Markey
Midfielder
Rhys McCabe
Midfielder
Michael Drennan
Forward

Substitutes
James Doona
Midfield
Chris Forrester
Midfield
Simon Madden
Defender
Glen McAuley
Forward
Barry Murphy
Goalkeeper
Gary Shaw
Forward
Jake Walker
Forward


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