League Preview: Sligo Rovers -v- Derry City

Mon, May 23 2022

The Showgrounds will host Sligo Rovers and Derry City on Monday evening Credit: Liam Coughlan (ETPhotos)

SLIGO ROVERS

Sligo Rovers will begin life without Liam Buckley when they welcome Derry City to the Showgrounds on Monday evening (kick-off at 7:45pm).

Buckley departed the club by mutual consent early on Sunday morning after a poor run of form has left the Bit O’Red sitting sixth in the table. Their last result was a 2-1 loss away to Bohemians, in what was another sub-par performance.

Assistant manager John Russell has taken charge of Rovers on an interim basis.

“‘A lot has happened in the last 24 hours but the players have worked extremely hard this morning and are fully focused on the game tomorrow night,” said Russell, speaking to the club website ahead of Monday’s fixture.

“Derry have had a strong start to the season so we know it will be a difficult game but we have a lot of quality in our group and the ability to get a result especially being at home in The Showgrounds with our fans behind us.”

In team news, Max Mata remains injured but is nearing a return, while Shane Blaney and David Cawley are doubtful to make it.

DERRY CITY

Derry City’s title charge has taken a blow in recent weeks, and they head to the Showgrounds having picked up just two points from the last available 12.

The Candystripes have not won since the 29th of April, stuttering to draws against St Patrick’s Athletic and Bohemians, before losing their last two games, 1-0 away to title rivals Shamrock Rovers, and 2-1 at home to Dundalk last week.

Speaking to the Derry Journal, centre-back Shane McEleney is confident that Derry can get back to winning ways in Sligo.

"There's tremendous effort there and you see on Friday night that we clawed our way back into the game with a bit of grit and it was a great header from Aki (James Akintunde), but their winner was one of those goals that took the sting out of our momentum, but we have to learn from it, both as individuals and as a group,” said McEleney.

“Look, that's football and the good thing about it is that we have got Monday to look forward to in Sligo and hopefully we can turn it around.

“I think up until now people will have seen the performances, it has been second to none and the effort that the boys have given, but sometimes your results don't go your way and that happened on Friday night.

“But look, Monday comes quick and we'll look forward to that. Sligo is never an easy place to go to. Anytime that I have been there you always know that you have been in a game.”

In team news, Michael Duffy and Ciaron Harkin remain long-term absentees for Ruaidhrí Higgins’ charges.

Referee: Paul McLaughlin.

MATCH STATS

Both teams come into Monday’s fixture on the back of a poor run of form. Derry City have only picked up two wins in their last eight, while Sligo Rovers are five games without a win themselves.

The last time these two met, it finished 0-0 in the Brandywell. Although it wasn’t reflected by the scoreline, it was a game that was dominated by Derry from start to finish, with the Candystripes wondering how they hadn’t picked up all three points at full time.

Casting an eye back to last season, Derry City were the only team Sligo Rovers failed to beat in the league in 2021.

BETTING

Sligo Rovers: 7/2; Draw: 12/5; Derry City: 8/11

PREDICTION

Sligo Rovers 0-1 Derry City

Sligo Rovers:

Injured: Max Mata

Doubtful: David Cawley, Shane Blaney

Suspended: None

Derry City:

Injured: Michael Duffy, Ciaron Harkin

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None

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