Dundalk v Shamrock Rovers, Live on Setanta IRL KO 5.30
After the monumental achievement of reaching the Europa League group stages Shamrock Rovers can be forgiven for taking their eye off domestic duties somewhat in recent weeks but as they enter the final quarter of the league they will need to regain focus quickly if they are to retain their title.
Dundalk though has proven a tricky place to travel to for the Hoops in recent times, last year’s 5-1 defeat on a wet and windy Monday night nearly scuppered Michael O’Neill’s title ambitions and the champions could only manage a draw at Oriel Park earlier this year.
Ian Foster’s men though have not taken as much advantage from the plastic pitch as in previous seasons and the Lilywhites have only managed five home wins so far in what has been a patchy season for the Louth side.
The departure of star player Daniel Kearns for Peterborough this week means the side will will need to dig deep if they are to finish the season on a high but with players like Jason Byrne, Mark Quigley and Marc Griffin in the line up they will always threaten opposition.
Rovers draw with UCD in the FAI cup on Monday may give Foster some hope of a result but O’Neill is unlikely to rest as many players for this fixture and Gary Twigg, Billy Dennehy and Ronan Finn are all llikely to return to the Rovers’ attack.
Prediction: Away win, Dundalk have shown they are a side on the wane this season and with Rovers in such high spirits they should be able to overcome the Louth men
Dundalk – DWDDDD
Shamrock Rovers – WLWWWW
Dundalk – Mark Quigley, 11
Shamrock Rovers – Gary Twigg, 13