Sligo Rovers Airtricity League title holders are currently top of the league with 18 points and a six league match winning streak. Derry City tonight closed in on Rovers lead at the top of the table with their 4-0 victory over Bohemians at Dalymount Park. Derry are now just two points behind Rovers after seven matches played since their trip to Dublin’s Northside.
The Bit’O Red side have had an enviable start to the season and are gearing up to take on Shelbourne United at home, kick off is at 7.45 at the Showgrounds tomorrow night. Shelbourne are currently struggling at the bottom of the league table with UCD, both sides sit at the bottom currently on one point with Shels ahead on goal difference. The one point Shels hold came from a 0-0 draw at home in Tolka Park against Shamrock Rovers.
Rovers will be hoping Anthony Elding will be able to maintain the form he’s produced so far for his new club. Striker Danny North is still injured but Danny Ventre and Iarfhliath Davoren both made appearances in Monday’s victory over UCD. Joesph Ndo is also out of action with a hand injury both Ndo and North are currently making positive steps to return playing for the Sligo side, Ndo had his cast removed and North had a cyst removed from his knee.
Rovers have shown great strength in the squad even with the current injuries they are undefeated. Ian Baraclough spoke to sligorovers.com commenting that, “The number of players that are gunning for a place in the team will drive on the fellows holding the positions. It is up to everyone to stake a claim. Jeff Henderson has done very well. He had to wait for his chance and put in some accomplished performances”.
Shels will be missing defender Ian Ryan due to suspension after a sending off earlier in the week in the 1-0 defeat against Bohemians in Tolka Park. Ian Mattews will have the option of selecting defender Graham Gartland who is returning to the side after injury. Ger Hanley and Glenn Cronin will also be missing from the side due to injury.
Shels will be gunning for their first victory of the season, beating the league leaders at home would be a major boost for the club, although last season the side were unable to claim victory over Rovers only taking one point from a possible nine. Rovers have beaten Shels in the last five meeting, also Rovers have a tally of 46 goals this season so far including friendlies.
If Rovers claim victory over Shels for their seventh league victory in a row it will the first time since the 1936/37 season when they did so with an 11 match winning streak to start the season. Shamrock Rovers are the last team to have seven league game streak back in 2009, the club are currently nine points behind Sligo.