Bray Wanderers v Shamrock Rovers preview

This could prove to be a title defining fixture as Rovers make the short trip to the Carlisle Grounds to put their title aspirations on the line.

With Bray coming off the back of a very creditable draw away to Derry, Michael O’ Neill’s Hoops will be fully aware of the Seagull’s ability to cause an upset. This is sink or swim time for the Tallaght based club, failure will see Rovers in a very difficult situation and one that could very well have been avoided had it not been for the strenuous nature of their Europa League journey.

Bray will be without two key players for this visit of the Airtricity League’s aristocrats. Both Adam Mitchell and Jake Kelly will miss the match as they each serve one match suspensions.

The good news for Bray boss Pat Devlin- he has no injury worries and is cautiously optimistic, owe to Rovers crowded fixture list “It’s always great to be playing Rovers, it’s a big game. It’s probably a little unfair on them the number of games they have to fit in but I suppose that’s the price you have to pay for success.” he said.

Indeed such optimism is not unwarranted as Bray are the only side to have beaten Rovers twice this season, despite a recent 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Dublin side.
Rovers themselves have few injury concerns with only Dean Kelly (groin) definitely out and Craig Sives (groin) a slight doubt, although he is expected to make the trip.
Manager Michael O’ Neill was forthright in his assessment of this one and indeed the remainder of their season “The game against Bohemians on Wednesday night left us knowing exactly what we need to do now. If we win our remaining four games, then we retain the league, and that is our soul aim at this moment in time,”

“Winning the four games will require us to take each game at a time and on its own merits, starting with Bray. We fully expect a tough game with Bray putting up a good challenge, and we will need to cope with that on the day.” he said.

Rovers will look to this one to build momentum for the run in. Michael O’ Neill’s men should have too much for this Bray outfit, however, the pressure is mounting on the Hoops and it would not be a massive surprise to see Devlin’s men snatch a point here.

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