League Preview: St Patrick's Athletic -v- Shamrock Rovers

Action from St. Patrick's Athletic 3-1 home win over Dundalk last September

Action from St. Patrick's Athletic 3-1 home win over Dundalk last September Credit: Matthew Lysaght (ETPhotos)


The anxiety levels around Richmond Park were greatly reduced over the Easter period when they moved up to fifth place in the league table and within two points of their visitors to Inchicore on Friday night, Shamrock Rovers (kick-off is at 7.45pm).

After a sluggish start to the season, their performances over the Easter weekend will give them confidence that they can still replicate their achievements of 2023, a top four finish and a FAI Cup victory.

They have still lost four games of the eight played so far however, but results elsewhere last weekend conspired to help their cause and they now will face Rovers in a more buoyant mood on Friday night.

The recent 0-0 draw away to Drogheda won’t live long in the memory, for either side, but their 3-0 home win over high flying Sligo Rovers was a great confidence booster ahead of the clash with the other Rovers this weekend.

It was makeshift right back Luke Turner, normally a centre back, who drove them to victory against Sligo with two first half goals and the three points were fully secured in the 86th minute when substitute Mason Melia made in 3-0.

Manager Jon Daly spoke to the St Patricks Athletic media team this week and said:  "We've got a huge game against Shamrock Rovers which we've been preparing for since Monday and we're looking forward to it.

"The game is sold out and Richmond will be bouncing.

"Rovers normally bring a big crowd and our own supporters have been brilliant, the atmosphere in these matches is normally good.

"We want to bring the same energy levels and performance that we did against Sligo.

"We're well aware that Rovers are a very good side, Champions four years in a row for a reason and they've been in good form themselves, it's on us now to try and get a result and get a little run going to continue to climb the table.”

The game is a sellout and 5,000 fans are expected to descend on Inchicore on Friday night for the Dublin derby.


Shamrock Rovers’ slow start to the season is very much history at this stage as they have gone on a five-game unbeaten run and are now one of three teams all on twelve points and chasing down league leaders Shelbourne who are on top with 20 points.

Goal difference has them technically in fourth place, but of those three teams on twelve points Rovers are the only team who have not lost in their last five outings.

Easter was very rewarding for them as they picked up the maximum six points, the only team in the league to do so.

They were described as being purring when they despatched Bohemians rather comfortably on a 3-1 scoreline on Good Friday and while they had a bit more difficulty when the faced Waterford on Easter Monday, they still did enough to record a solid 2-1 win away from home.

The new kids on the block are certainly getting all the headlines at Rovers, with Darragh Burns, Johnny Kenny, Josh Honahan and Conan Noonan outshining many of the more established players and driving the side on for the elusive five in a row.

Manager Stephen Bradley knows the size of the task his side faces on Friday night, a point he emphasised when he spoke to the Rovers media team this week.

He said “The league has shown already this year that if you’re not at your best, you won’t win games, regardless of who you play, home or away. 

"We know a Dublin derby against Pat’s at their home is a difficult game. We also know if we go there with the right mindset and attitude, that we’re more than capable of winning the game. 

"That’s the aim and Pat’s will be a difficult game.”

Referee: Damien MacGraith



Shamrocks Rovers have very much held the upper hand over St Patrick’s Athletic in recent years, winning six of the last eight clashes between the two sides.

There was one 2-2 in the March 2023 encounter and one has to go back to March 2022 for the last St Pats victory, a 1-0 home win thanks to a Chris Forester goal.

In the most recent game between the two at Inchicore in October 2023, Aaron Greene and Graham Burke scored to give the Hoops a 2-0 win on their way to their fourth consecutive league title.



St Patrick's Athletic 1 - 2 Shamrock Rovers


St Patrick's Athletic 

Injured:  Tom Grivosti,

Doubtful: Kieran Freeman, Alex Sjoberg

Suspended: None.


Shamrock Rovers  

Injured: Jack Byrne, Lee Grace, Aaron McEneff, Johnny Kenny, Rory Gaffney.

Doubtful: Aaron Greene.

Suspended: None.