Preview: Bit O’ Red in Tallaght on Friday night

Sligo Rovers return to action on Friday night in Tallaght Stadium as the Bit O’ Red play match 30 in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division season.

A 1-1 draw against Waterford FC moved the Bit O’ Red to 46 points two weeks ago. 

Derry City remain four points behind Rovers, with Bohemians a point further back with a game in hand.

As the race for Europe hots up, this game will be the fourth and final meeting of the season with the Hoops.

There has been one win each, as well as a draw, both victories coming on a 1-0 scoreline.

In team news, Greg Bolger (two games) and Niall Morahan (one game) serve suspensions. Shane Blaney is set for a return to training next week. There are no other injury concerns.

Liam Buckley said: “We put in a decent performance last time in Tallaght and the game in Sligo a few weeks ago was very close which Shamrock Rovers edged.

“They’re a top quality side, they’re looking to retain the title and are in a great position to do so and they’re top of the league for a reason.

“We took three points in the away fixture, a draw in The Showgrounds, a narrow defeat in a game Shamrock Rovers played quite well in, so we know we’re capable of getting a result and we go there with that in mind.

“The second half against Waterford, we were a little bit disappointed because we didn’t do enough to win the game. Waterford a good side with the form they’ve shown in the second half of the season, they’ve proven very difficult to beat.

“We have known for the last two weeks that we’d be without Greg and Niall for this fixture. They’re brilliant midfielders but we do have a squad with lots of quality in it and we’ve kept in mind the changes we’d have to make as we’ve prepared for this game. Shane Blaney is going to return to training next week so he’s very close.

“Nothing has changed from our end in terms of our ambitions, in terms of our overall goals, and in terms of the quality we have within our group.

“We know teams are trying to chase us down, we have that lead with seven games to go and the number of rivals is only increasing. It’s no surprise with the way the league is and we’re in the better position compared to last season. We’ve got to dig in and show what got us this far in the season.”