(Credit: Laszlo Geczo)

League Preview: St Patrick's Athletic -v- Sligo Rovers
Published: May 19, 2017

The 2013 League champions host the 2012 champions at Richmond Park, when 8th placed St. Patrick’s Athletic play 9th placed Sligo Rovers. (Kick-off 7:45).

 

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
St Patrick’s Athletic host Sligo Rovers in Richmond Park on Friday night as they look to record a second home league win in a row in the space of a week.

 

The Saints recorded a 2-0 win over Drogheda United last Friday, and will hope to improve on the 1-1 draw away to the Bit O’Red earlier in the season.

 

Goals in each half from captain Ian Bermingham and Kurtis Byrne ensured a comfortable win for the home side.

 

Speaking to stpatsfc.com ahead of Friday night’s game in Inchicore, Buckley admitted that while his side were looking to replicate last week’s win, he hoped his team would still improve on their performance.

 

“Last week was a great win for us. We played very well in the first half and could have been more than 1-0 up at half-time. We started the second half well and saw it out well. 

 

“We’re improving steadily and know that there is still more to come from the team, especially in front of goal where we can still be that bit sharper and take more of our chances.”

 

Reflecting on the opposition, Buckley knows that Sligo will pose a significant threat under new manager Gerard Lyttle;

 

“Sligo are and always will be a good footballing side. They have recently changed manager so they’ll be keen to record points so we know that they will pose us problems.

 

“Like last weekend however, if we can start the game well we can hopefully take the initiative and look to get a positive result.”

 

For St Pat's goalkeeper Conor O’Malley, the Mayo man will be hoping to get one over the Bit O’Red. The Westport man recorded his second clean sheet of the season last weekend and admitted that the hard work that the whole team put in was the primary reason for the shut out.

 

“Last week was a great result for us. We all worked really hard and it showed in the scoreline with the fact we were well on top for the majority of the game and kept a clean sheet. 

 

“When everyone is closing down and pressing from the front, it makes it easier for us at the back so our aim is to replicate that every week.”

 

While admitting that it’s been a tricky start to the season, O’Malley believes the Saints can climb the table and admits that the aim for the players is to add consistency to their performance levels and results.

 

“We’re unbeaten now in three games and last week was a good win. We’re still gelling together as a team so hopefully we can continue that on Friday and over the next few weeks.”

 

In team news, the Saints remain without Darren Dennehy through injury, however manager Liam Buckley otherwise has a full squad to select from including top-scorer, the previously mentioned Byrne, who has three goals in each of his last three league games.

 

SLIGO ROVERS

The Bit o' Red go into the game level on points with the Saints in the table.

 

The teams played out a 1-1 draw in The Showgrounds earlier this season. Last time out, Sligo went to the champions and lost 4-0 last Friday night. The scoreline did not reflect the true nature of the game though, as the first half ended 0-0 and were defensively comfortable. But they faltered in the second half, conceding four goals.

 

Three of those were scored by ex-Saint Jamie McGrath and by Niclas Vemmelund. Before that game though, they beat Limerick 3-0 at the Showgrounds so it is fair to say that under their new manager, their results are very fluctuating.

 

On last week, Lyttle said; "We were taught a lesson in the second half last Friday. We played well up until the first goal and from then on we made mistakes and were punished for them.

 

"We switched off and have to take a (positive) message from it. It was a bad night after the positive result against Limerick.

 

"We had been doing well and have to get back to what we had been doing prior to that bad second period against Dundalk.

 

Speaking on tomorrow’s opposition, Lyttle was quoted as saying; "Pat's had a good win last week having previously done better away from home.

 

"Our own record on the road hasn't been good and while there are travel demands and preparation can be better with long journeys, it has been that way forever for Sligo Rovers so it's no excuse.

 

“It's something we have to change and start picking up points away.

 

"Our home form shows we are capable and it's something we want to change from here on. We feel we can get a positive result and finding a more consistent performance is what we want from the group."

 

In team news, manager Gerard Lyttle will definitely be without Daniel Kearns due to a thigh problem.

 

Sligo fans will hope that their away form starts picking up, starting tomorrow night in Richmond.

 

Kick-off is 7:45 PM.

 

Referee: Paul Tuite

 

 

MATCH FACTS

Sligo were defeated 1-0 in their first league game in Dublin this season, by Shamrock Rovers.

 

The two league games in Richmond between the sides last year ended 0-0 and 1-1.

 

The sides have met each other competitively 42 times; with Pats' winning 19 to Sligo's 11. There has been 12 draws.

 

There has been an average of 2.5 goals in this fixture.

 

Pats' last five games in the league: WDDLD

Sligo's last five games in the league: LWDDL

 

 

MATCH BETTING

St Patrick’s Athletic 21/20; Draw 12/5; Sligo Rovers 13/5

 

PREDICTION

St Patrick’s Athletic 1-0 Sligo Rovers

 

 

St. Patrick’s Athletic

Injured: Darren Dennehy (Ankle)

Doubtful: Unknown

Suspended: None

 

Sligo Rovers

Injured: Daniel Kearns (Thigh)

Doubtful: Unknown

Suspended: None


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