SHAMROCK ROVERS II
Aidan Price's Shamrock Rovers II team are seeking the second home win of the season when they welcome Bray Wanderers to Tallaght Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
If they can avoid defeat against the First Division leaders, the Hoops will move above Athlone Town and into eighth place in the table. They come into the game on the back of a 2-0 win away to Wexford last week, a victory which stopped the rot for Rovers’ young team of six defeats in a row.
Stephen Bradley’s Premier Division side have no fixture this weekend due to international call ups at senior international level (Jack Byrne and Pico Lopes) and under-21 level (Liam Scales and Neil Farrugia). So it may be a chance for Aidan Price to strengthen his side.
Just the once this season has he brought in the one allowed overage outfield player into his squad (Liam Scales played and scored against Drogheda in August) but with Sean Kavanagh returning from injury for the first time this season recently against AC Milan, he might be the player to drop in this weekend.
It is likely that Leon Pohls will start as will Dean Williams, who scored recently for the Hoops in the Premier Division.
Both Williams and Brandon Kavanagh trained with the Ireland under-21 squad during the week and Kavanagh is in rich goalscoring form for the Hoops – he has scored five goals in the last three First Division games.
The Seagulls’ quest for promotion from the self-styled ‘People’s League’ to the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League can take a big step forward on Saturday afternoon in Tallaght.
Bray can move five points clear of second placed Drogheda United with just two games remaining (albeit the Drogs will have a game in hand after this match). They have won five of their last six games, with their only defeat coming in their last home game – a 1-0 loss to Drogheda.
Last time Gary Cronin’s charges earned a 3-1 away win against UCD with Gary Shaw, Darragh Lynch and Dylan Barnett grabbing the goals. When Bray hosted the Hoops at home in mid-August, Bray deservedly won the game 1-0 thanks to a first half Ryan Graydon goal.
Bray’s defence has been the building blocks for their success so far this season with seven clean sheets, conceding just a dozen goals in the league – the fewest amount of any side in the First Division.
Cronin is hoping to have a full squad to choose from but former Shamrock Rovers player Gary Shaw has a recurring injury and is a doubt for the game. He will face a late fitness test before Cronin completes his teamsheet in Tallaght.
Victory will put Bray in the driving seat in the First Division title race with their remaining matches set against Galway United at home and away to Athlone Town on final night of the regular season.
Referee: Mark Moynihan
Brandon Kavanagh is top scorer for the Hoops in the First Division with eight goals.
Gary Shaw tops the charts for the Seagulls with seven 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.
Shamrock Rovers II 6/1; Draw 7/2; Bray Wanderers 1/3
2-1 away win
Shamrock Rovers II
Doubtful: Sean Callan
Doubtful: Gary Shaw