Shamrock Rovers will be looking to pick themselves up following their disappointing FAI Cup semi final defeat at The Brandywell on Tuesday night as they host Bray Wanderers in Tallaght Stadium.
This will be Rovers 10th game in the space of four weeks and the high volume of fixtures has raised some injury concerns for Pat Fenlon. Goalkeeper Barry Murphy, defender Danny O’Connor, striker Dean Kelly and former Irish international Stephen McPhail are all doubtful to face the Seagulls. Jason McGuinness is suspended following his red card against Derry.
Rovers come into this game after losing 2-0 to Derry City in the cup, while Bray held the Northern Ireland side to a point last time out in the Carlisle Grounds. The away side know a win here would all but guarantee their future in the League of Ireland for another year.
Both Ismahil Akinade and Shane O’Connor who were sent off against Drogheda Utd are suspended as will Niall Cooney who got his marching orders late on against Derry City while Captain Dave Webster has a one match ban having received eight yellow cards.
Boss Alan Mathews is optimistic coming into Friday’s game in Tallaght:
“We are looking forward to the game and we want to take the positives from our last two performances into this game and do our very best to get the right result.”
Rovers have won both meetings this season having scored 5 goals in the process and Fenlon believes there was little between the two sides on Tuesday and the sending off of McGuinness was a huge turning point in the tie;
“I don’t think anyone came away from either game saying one team or the other was the better side. They just got the break that we didn’t get. Sunday at home was probably where we lost it when we were leading and were comfortable.”
Prediction: Rovers will be deflated after their crushing defeat at Derry and will have nothing more to play for than pride, which could allow Bray to nick a point here. Shamrock Rovers 2-1 Bray Wanderers.
Match Odds: (paddypower) Shamrock Rovers 1/ 4 Draw 9/2 Bray 9/1
Match Official: Robert Harvey
Venue: Tallaght Stadium, 20:00.