Rovers v Dundalk - Preview
Rovers are back at The Showgrounds this Saturday night!
The opening home game of the 2017 season will see the Bit o’Red against Dundalk, kick-off 7:45pm.
The visitors are three-time defending SSE Airtriicty League champions.
All three games between the teams last year were extremely close. Firstly, there was two narrow 1-0 wins for the Lilywhite, first at Oriel Park and then The Showgrounds.
In the most recent meeting Rovers took a 3-0 win from Oriel Park last October.
The Bit o’Red are seeking to bounce back from a disappointing lost away to Limerick which began the season at the weekend. Dundalk, meanwhile, had a 2-1 home win against Shamrock Rovers to start the season.
This game is the first in a succession of Showgrounds games the next three weekends being followed by a visit of St. Patrick’s Athletic on March 10 and Bray Wanderers on March 18.
Rovers: Liam Martin’s suspension carried over from 2016 was served against Limerick and he returns to the squad.
Keeper Micheal Schlingermann is the only doubt, a late fitness test will be needed on a groin injury.
Dundalk: Five players will be missing for the visitors; Gary Rogers, Shane Grimes, Chris Shields, Sean Hoare and David McMillan while Stephen O’Donnell is doubtful.
The Lilywhite will have Patrick McEleney return to the squad from injury.
Dave Robertson: “We have tried to remain positive and for the players to keep believing in themselves. The message approaching Saturday is to focus on what we need to do from the first whistle.
“The natural reaction after last week was disappointment and we have tried to raise their spirits but as the week has gone on the players have lifted their own spirits too.
“Every game is different and certainly the three-in-a-row champions coming to town raises eyebrows. It’s our first home game of the season and I think as always our players will give all they can and it’s important that the home support get behind them.”
Micheal Schlingermann: “I am sure the supporters that travelled will be very disappointed but they’ll come out again I am sure and back us. We need to repay that commitment by putting in a performance. The only thing they deserve is a performance by us on Saturday against Dundalk.
"The most important thing is to put in a performance that everybody can be proud of and say that we have improved, though that won’t be hard, but by an awful lot.”.
Rovers’ previous five:
Dundalk (a) W 3-0
Longford Town (h) W 1-0
Derry City (a) L 2-1
Wexford Youths (h) W 5-0
Limerick (a) L 5-1
Dundalk’s previous five
Longford Town (a) W 5-0
Bohemians (h) W 2-1
St. Pat’s (a) L 5-2
Galway United (h) W 4-1
Shamrock Rovers (h) W 2-1
Previous four meetings:
October 2016: Dundalk 0-3 Sligo Rovers (Campion, Roberts, Cretaro)
September 2016: Sligo Rovers 0-1 Dundalk
April 2016: Dundalk 1-0 Sligo Rovers
September 2015: Dundalk 2-2 Sligo Rovers (Corcoran, Keane)
NOT AT THE GAME?
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