Conor Kenna 67' -
Fourth placed St. Patrick's Athletic will take on league leaders Sligo Rovers in a crucial game at the top of the Airtricity Premier League at Richmond Park on Saturday night (kick off 7.30 p.m.).
St. Pat's title challenge has faded of late. The Saints followed up a scoreless draw against Bohemians last Friday with a rather surprising 2-1 defeat at UCD on Monday night.
Sean O'Connor will definitely miss the Sligo game after picking up a hamstring injury against UCD on Monday. Shane McFaul who missed the trip to Belfield with a virus is rated extremely doubtful for the match. Dave Mulcahy and Danny North are nursing hamstring injuries and their fitness will be reassessed tomorrow. Daryl Kavanagh who is suffering from tendentious of the knee, is also a doubt for the match.
Pats manager Pete Mahon has put all the pressure on Sligo ahead of the game "Our league title ambitions are gone for another season, so there is no pressure on us. We will enter the game in a relaxed frame of mind, but we are still looking to win the match. Sligo are the in-form team at the moment. They'll smell blood and will go for the juggler, that's how they'll approach the game” Mahon told the St. Pats website.
Sligo have scored 15 goals in their last three league games. On Tuesday night they hammered Dundalk 5-0. Following that victory manager Paul Cook told the Sligo Champion that he expects some twists and turns in the title race between now and the end of the season.
"We are at that stage now where results are massive. It's not so much how you play, it's the results. I am convinced there are always twists and turns in most league title races and as a club ourselves we are only trying to get as many points as we can and I say all the time when we get those points that will be as good as we can do," said Cook.
Sligo will have a fully fit squad to choose from on Saturday night. Recent injury victims Eoin Doyle, who came on and scored against Dundalk, and Jason McGuinness are in contention to start Saturday's game at Richmond Park.
Previous meetings between Pats and Sligo seem to indicate that it will be a tight game. The two sides have met three times in the league this season. In April Sligo beat Pats 2-1 at the Showgrouds. In May Pete Mahon's side beat the bit of red 2-1 in Inchicore, while on the 23rd of July the two sides drew 0-0 in Sligo.
St. Patricks Athletic
Injured: Sean O’Connor (hamstring).
Doubtful: Dave Mulcahy, Danny North, Shane McFaul and Daryl Cavanagh.
Referee: Tom Connolly.
Paddy Power Odds: St. Patricks Athletic 21/10, Draw 9/4, Sligo Rovers 6/5
Extratime.ie prediction: St. Patricks Athletic 1-2 Sligo Rovers