Table-toppers Shamrock Rovers look to maintain lead

Shamrock Rovers need a victory against Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds to guarantee that they remain top of the table (kick-off 7.35pm).

Shamrock Rovers need a victory against Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds to guarantee that they remain top of the table (kick-off 7.35pm).

The Hoops are only one point clear of St Pat’s, who take on Bray in Inchicore.

Rovers have injury doubts over Karl Sheppard (ankle) and Ken Oman (calf), but everyone else is fit and available for selection.

Hoops boss Michael O’Neill said: “We were pleased with the spirit and determination not to be beaten shown by the players on Tuesday. However, the lads know that it was not one of their better performances.

“We have always responded well to disappointment, which Tuesday was for us, and we’re looking forward to the game in Sligo.

“Our record there has been excellent there in the last two seasons, and we will be aiming to maintain that.”

Sligo have a major injury concern over Iarfhlaith Davoren, with the left-back having missed the last two games with a knock. A decision will be made closer to kick-off.

Otherwise manager Paul Cook has a full squad to choose from.

Cook said: “It’s a big game and one we are very much looking forward to. We’ll pick a team on Friday night that will try to win the game like we always do.

“The first half in Derry was difficult but we improved a lot in the second half and it was a good point in the end.

“I’m hoping for a big crowd and support because I think the players deserve that. It’s a chance for us to throw open the race for ourselves and we’ll certainly not be wanting for lack of effort.”

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