League Preview: Shamrock Rovers II -v- Athlone Town

Sat, Oct 17 2020

Jordan Carroll on the ball against Shamrock Rovers in August Credit: Gerry Shanahan (ETPhotos)

SHAMROCK ROVERS II 

The COVID-19 turmoil in Tallaght thankfully hasn’t effected Rovers’ First Division match on Saturday as the Hoops II have their final home game of the season (kick off 3pm). 

From Rovers Premier Division squad both Aaron Greene and Jack Byrne are recovering from COVID-19, along with six players self-isolating so their next three Premier Division games have been postponed.

The Irish Daily Mirror noted that two of those isolating players are from the fringes of the first team squad so it remains to be seen exactly who Aidan Price can call upon on Saturday. He may take the opportunity to bring one of Stephen Bradley’s available men into the side.

Twice this season he has brought the one allowed overage outfield player into his squad – Liam Scales in August and Sean Kavanagh last week in the 2-0 home defeat to Bray Wanderers.

Price’s team are still seeking their second home win of the season and if they can get that victory they can move to within a point of Midlanders ahead of their final game of the season – away to Cobh Ramblers.

“Our objective is to go out and try and control the game as much as anything else,” said Aidan Price in the Shamrock Rovers match programme for this weekend.

“We haven’t had the results to match our performances. You would like to think we should have had easily another 12 points on the board if not more with some of the tight games that have been there but that’s the learning for us.”

ATHLONE TOWN

If they can avoid defeat in Tallaght on Saturday, Athlone will secure eighth place in the First Division for 2020.

They currently have a four point gap over Shamrock Rovers II. 

The Midlanders come into the game having lost 4-2 at home to UCD last weekend with Jack Reynolds and Ronan Manning on the scoresheet.

When the sides last met, the Hoops won in Lissywollen 4-0 so Adrian Carberry’s men will be seeking revenge in their last away game of the season.

They’ve just won the two games on the road in this year's First Division campaign but they are both from their most recent matches away from home – a 1-0 win over Wexford and a 2-0 win against Drogheda United last time out. 

After this weekend, they have just the one game remaining – a home fixture against First Division leader Bray Wanderers.

Referee: Declan Toland 

MATCH STATS

Brandon Kavanagh is top scorer for the Hoops in the First Division with eight goals. 

When the Hoops have kept a clean sheet this season, which they have done on three occasions, they have also gone on to claim all three points.

BETTING

Shamrock Rovers II 11/10; Draw 13/5; Athlone Town 15/8

PREDICTION
2-1 home win 

Shamrock Rovers II 

Injured: Sean Callan, Alex Dunne

Doubtful: Sinclair Armstrong, Kevin Zefi

Suspended: None

Athlone Town

Injured: Unknown

Suspended: Lee Duffy