Preview: Rovers take on Pat’s on Friday

Sligo Rovers meet St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday night in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division in the Showgrounds, kick-off 7.45pm.

Tickets are available at turnstiles.

The sides currently sit within the top three places in the table. Rovers earned a draw last week against Drogheda United with a first clean sheet since July.

Rovers are 11 points behind the Saints, with two games in hand. The first meeting of the teams in Sligo was 1-1 draw, while Pat’s won the reversal.

There is just one absentee for Rovers this week, with Shane Blaney out with a foot injury. The defender is likely to miss the rest of the month with the injury.

Greg Bolger and Melvyn Lorenzen were ruled out late on last week but return to the squad. Lorenzen would make his debut if appearing.

With a 50% capacity, up to 2,100 supporters can attend, with the biggest attendance in the stadium in 18 months set to be achieved.

Manager Liam Buckley said: “We came away with a point and a clean sheet in Drogheda. There wasn’t a lot in it as is the case in a lot of games. Overall it was a scrappy type of match. We have to hang in there and keep working. I think from now to the end of the season you’ll see a lot of games where results are ground out and they are decided with very fine margins.

“We’re looking for more in terms of an overall performance and we will get it I feel. It’s great to have Greg and Melvyn available for selection this week. Robbie McCourt came back against Drogheda and overall it makes us stronger. Greg has been an important player for us this season, as has Robbie, so it will certainly help us. Melvyn needed a bit more time to be ready to play and he has come through the week in a good fashion.

“St Pat’s have done well this season, they’ve a particular style of play and are up there at the head of the table. That said, I do feel we can get the result we’re looking for. It’s second against third as it stands and we want to be up there come the end of the season.

“It’s great to be able to have supporters back up to a couple of thousand. It has been a difficult couple of months and I’d love to be able to reward them for sticking with us when they couldn’t get into the stadium. That is something we’re aware of and we’ll be looking for the result on Friday night to make it a great welcome for them.”