Team News: v Galway United

Sligo Rovers return to the Showgrounds this Saturday for a first competitive Connacht derby with Galway United since 2018, kick-off 7.45pm.

Rovers come into this game in good form, with three wins from our last five games after a Good Friday win over Waterford which was followed up by defeat in Dublin to St Patrick’s Athletic three days later.  

The Bit O’Red will be without long-term injury victim John Mahon, while fellow centre half Nando Pijnaker now faces a sustained period on the sidelines too, having broken ribs in Easter Monday’s defeat to Pat’s. 

Simon Power serves the second of a three game ban following his red card during that defeat of Waterford. 

Although JR Wilson is making progress in his bid to recover from a hamstring injury, it is unlikely he will be fit in time to face Galway. It is hoped the full-back will be fit in time to be involved in next week’s visit to Shamrock Rovers.  

Goalkeeper Ed McGinty faces a late fitness test on Saturday after he picked up an injury in that collision with Pijnaker at Richmond Park. 

Speaking ahead of the Bit O’Red’s first top flight clash with the Tribesmen since 2017, manager John Russell is expecting a competitive game as he takes charge against his hometown club for the first time. 

“We’re delighted to be back in the Showgrounds in front of our own fans on Saturday for what will be a massive game”, he said. 

“Galway have started the season well which is no surprise. They kept the core group that ran away with the First Division and added good quality in the off season. 

“As always, we must focus on ourselves and play to our strengths. It’s a home game and we’re expecting an electric atmosphere given it’s the first Connacht derby since our EA Sports Cup win down there in 2018. I know the players are relishing the challenge ahead and hopefully we can put in a top performance.”