Rovers and St Pat’s go head-to-head in Tallaght Stadium

By William O'Connor

TALLAGHT Stadium will host the big Dublin derby between local clubs Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic in the Airtricity League tonight (Tuesday) with a kick-off at 8pm.

A win for the Inchicore side would see them move into third spot while Rovers will be looking for maximum points after drawing with Sligo Rovers on Saturday night.

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Rovers are seven points behind fifth place St Pat’s and 20 points off leaders Dundalk in the league. The Hoops will be looking to revenge their 2-0 loss to St Pat’s earlier in the month in Richmond Park and end Liam Buckley’s side four straight league wins with their most recent win coming last Friday in Richmond Park when they defeated Derry City 5-2.

In St Pat’s team news, the Saints will give late fitness tests to Dean Clarke and Killian Brennan as they recover from respective knocks picked up last week.

With Pat’s having suffered only one defeat in their last eight games, manager Liam Buckley is keen for his side to maintain their run of form which sees them sitting in fourth position at the start of this week.

"We are currently on a good run of form and the couple of wins recently have given us all some confidence to bring in to each game and hopefully that will continue.

"I was very pleased with the performance we put in against Derry. I felt we played well, and were a little unlucky with the goals we conceded. However, to come back from trailing on two occasions showed that the lads have real character and credit to them for bouncing back.

“We’ve another big game on Tuesday against Shamrock Rovers so there is no let up. We have been encouraging the players to do all right things in terms of recovery and being prepared for the game.

Tight game

“Dublin derbies are always entertaining and anything can happen. We’ve recently played Rovers in Richmond and came out of the game with three points, so we know what to expect from them. It will be another really tight game and hopefully we can come out on the right side of the result once more as we know that our support will be there in huge numbers,” said Buckley.

For midfielder Conan Byrne, a Dublin derby in Tallaght Stadium is one which excites the winger who has excelled for the Saints in Tallaght Stadium in the past having scored four times for Liam Buckley’s side in a 4-0 win back in 2013.  

"The hope will be to make it five wins in a row,” Byrne.

“But we are just taking it one game at a time. Tallaght Stadium is one of the toughest places to go to get a result, but we will all be up for it. We have taken great confidence from the last four wins and hopefully we can make it five on Tuesday.

“Dublin derbies are huge for St Pat's players, be it in Tallaght, Dalymount Park, Tolka Park, wherever. If you cannot get up for a Dublin Derby you might as well hang up the boots. It is always a great occasion and atmosphere and the fans are always up for it so hopefully we can reward our fans with three points.”

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley said in the lead up to tonights match: “One thing is we’ll definitely create chances and I think it’s a matter of time before we go and put one in and once we do hopefully it starts a little run for us.

“St Pat’s are doing really well, they’ve won their last few games. I watched them last week against Derry and they were good.

“They’re coming full of confidence but it’s a challenge we’re really looking forward to. I’d imagine with the run they’re on they’ll look to try and play and win the game so we’ll be ready for that. I think three points is three points, I don’t think you should get yourself up differently for any other game. It’s a game we want to win like every other game.

"The players know about the derbies and everything that comes with that but as a player and as a group you can’t lift yourself for one or two games and not for others. So we’ll be ready to go for Pat’s like we were in Sligo.”

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