Match Preview: Rovers host St. Patrick’s Athletic on Friday

Sligo Rovers host St. Patrick’s Athletic on Friday night at The Showgrounds in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division.

Rovers come into the game on the back of a 2-2 draw away to Drogheda United last week, having lead 2-0 and controlled large periods of the game.

St. Patrick’s Athletic most recently played a friendly against Cliftonville last Saturday following their Europa Conference League exit a fortnight ago and an FAI Cup win over Longford Town.

The Bit O’ Red must now do without the services of striker Max Mata who earlier completed a move to English League One side Shrewsbury Town.

Fabrice Hartmann is expected to play some part in the game following his return to the club on loan from RB Leipzig. Hartmann trained this week with his Bit O’ Red team-mates and could start.

Manager John Russell takes the positives of recent weeks into Friday’s game:

‘’It was disappointing to come away with only a draw last weekend as the players showed a good reaction after the cup defeat.

‘’Tomorrow night we welcome an in-form St Pats side to the Showgrounds. Our previous games against them have been tight encounters so we’re expecting another difficult game.

‘’It’s important we build on our last two home performances where we took maximum points. We are eager to try and build some momentum and with players starting to return to full fitness this will only enhance our chances’’.

Tickets for the game can be purchased on the gate on the night from 6.30pm or online in advance on

Russell is hoping for a good Showgrounds support as we go in search of our third straight home win:

‘’I was delighted to bring Fabrice back to the club and he has given everyone a real lift. He is a player of immense quality and is exactly the type of player we need in the final third.

‘’We’re hoping our supporters turn out in their numbers tomorrow night. They have been with us through the ups and downs this season and we need them now more than ever’’.

In team news, as announced earlier in the week, Will Fitzgerald is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a groin injury along with Garry Boylan who continues to recover from an ACL injury. Mark Byrne is still a few weeks away from a return.

Karl O’ Sullivan is back in the squad after his ankle injury and James Finnerty and Garry Buckley have shown no ill effects after their return in the last couple of weeks and are fit to play.

John Mahon is a doubt with illness but, it is hoped he will recover in time for the game.

Richard Brush and Daniel Lafferty are suspended for the next 2 and 3 games respectively.