Preview: Rovers back in Showgrounds on Saturday

Sligo Rovers face Shamrock Rovers in a re-arranged SSE Airtricity Premier Division match in The Showgrounds on Saturday.

The Bit o’ Red sit in third place and face the leaders in a match between the sides with the best defences in the league.

Tickets for the game are available at turnstiles for all home fans. Away fans will not be admitted without a ticket and their allocation is sold out.

Rovers recorded back to back home wins in the last week, seeing off St Patrick’s Athletic 2-0 and Dundalk 2-1.

Earlier this season the teams played out a 1-1 draw in Sligo, while Romeo Parkes’ goal settled the game in Tallaght Stadium.

In team news, Mark Byrne (ankle) and Regan Donelon (illness) return to the group.

Shane Blaney remains out with a foot problem. Johnny Kenny and Lewis Banks are doubts after picking up knocks in Tuesday’s game and will be checked pre-game.

Manager Liam Buckley said: “We were delighted to get three points on Tuesday. We knew Dundalk would be a tough game because they still have a strong starting XI and coming away with the result was great.

“The attitude we’ve shown and the buy-in from the players coming off the run we’ve been on has been particularly pleasing. They understand what it takes.

“This game is no bigger than any other, it’s another three points on offer in the same way as any other game, and we don’t get jump up and down if we win games or write things off if we don’t.”

Rovers face a third game in eight days but the manager is not concerned by the schedule.

“As long as you have four days between games, it’s enough to be able to recover properly. We spoke to the players about the mental and physical challenges as we move from game-to-game, it isn’t a problem to play Tuesday-Saturday. We’ve had time to get right again.

“Shamrock Rovers have been the benchmark for the last 18 months. They’ve a good style and we’re aware of how difficult it will be. We’ve done well against them this season and again they’ve been close games.”

With a crowd of up to 2,100 possible, with 1,900 home supporters, Buckley is also looking forward to another match in Sligo.  

“It was nice to have a couple of results in The Showgrounds from the point of view that the fans stuck with us in recent weeks when we didn’t get them.

“They know we’re in this battle to achieve our target at the end of the season and we’re going to give everything to try to get it over the line.

“This is another game in that challenge in front of our supporters which we all appreciate after going so long without them.”