Sligo Rovers will be looking to cut the gap between them and Derry City when they welcome the Premier Division leaders to the Showgrounds for Saturday’s televised clash, kick off 2.45pm.
Just three points separates third place Sligo from Stephen Kenny’s side and with just nine games left, this game will have a 6 pointer feel about it with so much at stake, and if that wasn’t enough there is also the added spice of revenge given the Candystripes recently knocked Rovers out of the EA sports cup at the semi final stages.
Sligo Rovers have no injury worries coming into the game with Alan Keane returning to the Rovers squad after overcoming a thigh complaint and John Russell also back in contention after missing the win over Monaghan on Wednesday because of dizziness. Brendan Clarke is also available after his missed the midweek clash at Gortakeegan due to suspension.
Speaking ahead of the game Sligo boss Paul Cook while pleased with his sides progress in the FAI cup midweek was keen to keep his eyes focused on his main goal for the season, the league title “The Monaghan game was the most-balanced we have looked in a long time. We looked a threat in all areas. We were creating chances like in the Derry game but the pleasing thing was that we were very professional. We took the chances and it was a very solid performance.”
“We have got nine games. I think if you win all nine you win the league. I’m not saying we will do that, but we have to take each one at a time and give it a go. You have to go with the mindset that you are the best team in the league. This is a pivotal weekend. There is no doubt about that and we’re looking forward to it. It will be a very big day. We’ve got a cup quarter-final and with nine games left we are in contention to win the league and I think people need to remember that.”
Derry meanwhile will be without the injured Gareth McGlynn who has yet to recover from the knee injury he sustained in the Dublin super cup while Kevin Deery is rated as doubtful as he struggles to shake off an ankle injury.
Derry have yet to beat Sligo in the league this season with Sligo winning two and drawing one of their three clashes to date however come into this game in the better form and are currently unbeaten in 12 games. Sligo meanwhile have lost their way slightly since their thrilling 8-0 win over Galway, their recent win over UCD a first win in four attempts since that western mauling.
Sligo Rovers WLDDW
Derry City WWWDW
Eoin Doyle 17
Eamonn Zayed 20