Shamrock Rovers host a struggling UCD in a rearranged fixture due to the home side’s commitments in this year’s EA Sports Cup which they lost 3-2 at the home of league leaders Dundalk.
Rovers are fresh off two 1-1 draws with their biggest Dublin rivals, as they could not get three valuable points at either Dalymount Park or Inchicore, but Pat Fenlon’s men will be aiming for the win to put more misery on the lowly students.
Winger Marty Waters is a doubt for this game with a knee injury, while ever-present goalkeeper Barry Murphy is struggling with a calf problem. If the Rovers number one cannot pass a late fitness test, youngster Craig Hyland will deputise. Experienced central defender Jason McGuinness is suspended.
UCD haven’t won in ten league games since an impressive 1-0 victory over Sligo Rovers at the UCD Bowl in July, and have only taken two points from a possible 30. The Students lost last Saturday against champions elect Dundalk 2-0 and have lost by the same scoreline twice this year against the Hoops.
Rovers boss Fenlon has set his sights on three points and is aiming to win every game left this season if they want to try to wrestle an unexpected 3rd position away from St Pats.
“I’ve said to the lads today that we have to go out against UCD and win the game, and that is the attitude we will have towards every game between now and the end of the season. Pat’s might slip up, they might not, but we want to be in the position to take advantage if they do. Momentum is really important in football and a win in this game will set us up well for the weekend.”
Prediction: It’s hard to see anything other than a home win here. Rovers are much improved under Fenlon, while Aaron O’ Callaghan’s men are really struggling to find a point, let alone a win. Shamrock Rovers 2-0 UCD.
Venue: Tallaght Stadium, Kick Off 20:00.
Referee: Derek Tomney
Injured/Unavailable: Marty Waters (knee), Barry Murphy (calf), Jason McGuinness (suspended)