Preview: Shamrock Rovers vs. Derry City – prediction, team news, lineups

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Preview: Shamrock Rovers vs. Derry City – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday’s League of Ireland Premier clash between Shamrock Rovers and Derry City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Second meets third in Monday’s blockbuster League of Ireland Premier Division battle, as Shamrock Rovers welcome Derry City to Tallaght Stadium.

The plight of Stephen Bradley‘s men continued with a 1-0 defeat to Dundalk on Friday, while their visitors triumphed by the same scoreline at St Patrick’s Athletic.

Match preview

Challenging for a fifth-straight League of Ireland title, Shamrock Rovers’ bid for another year of stardom has suffered a number of complications in recent weeks, and the reigning champions are currently playing catch-up in their bid for national supremacy.

After only taking two points from an available nine in clashes with Bohemians, Waterford and St Patrick’s earlier this month, Shamrock’s winless May continued with Friday’s narrow defeat at Dundalk, whose captain John Mountney was the injury-time hero.

Consequently, the third-placed Hoops are facing a serious uphill battle to retain their top-flight crown for the fifth season running, occupying third place in the rankings with a six-point gap to make up to leaders Shelbourne, while upcoming foes Derry are also five clear in the runners-up spot.

Shamrock’s latest defeat came in the wake of a pre-match farce – traffic delays resulting in Bradley’s men not receiving their kit on time delayed kickoff by half an hour – and the faltering holders now have just one victory to show from their last seven league contests.

However, the Hoops have managed to find the back of the net in all of their League of Ireland home games so far this season and are on an outrageous 55-game scoring streak at Tallaght Stadium in the top flight since a 1-0 loss to Sligo Rovers in May 2021.

Taking full advantage of Shamrock’s recent slip-ups, upcoming foes Derry City are locked in an early two-way battle for stardom with Shelbourne and enhanced their title credentials on May 17, leaving St Patrick’s Richmond Park with a 1-0 victory to their name.

With the pre-match build-up dominated by the appointment of ex-Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny to the St Patrick’s helm. Derry – whom Kenny was twice in charge of – gave their former boss a rude awakening as Paul McMullan struck the only goal of the battle.

Now boasting back-to-back 1-0 successes after beating Bohemians by the same scoreline on May 10, Ruaidhri Higgins‘s second-placed charges are just one point below leaders Shelbourne with a superior goal difference of +10, the best record of its kind in the division.

Each of the Candystripes’ last six games in the League of Ireland has seen them avoid defeat, a streak which has also seen Higgins’s backline breached on just two occasions, while they have also recorded a praiseworthy three clean sheets from their last three away matches.

However, Derry head to the league leaders without a win in five against Monday’s hosts, who left the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium with a 3-1 victory to their name on April 19, a day where Aaron Greene notched two of Rovers’ efforts.

Shamrock Rovers League of Ireland Premier form:

Derry City League of Ireland Premier form:

Team News

One minor positive from Shamrock’s Friday night defeat to Dundalk was the fact that no more players entered the medical room, which currently houses midfield pair Dylan Watts and Gary O’Neill, who has been out for a month with a knee problem.

However, fellow lynchpin Aaron McEneff – on loan from Australian outfit Perth Glory – was fit enough to come off the bench on Friday after his own injury and is an option for change for Bradley, who may also consider recalling Graham Burke – who boasts nine goals against Derry – to the attacking line.

In terms of Derry’s availability, striker Colm Whelan is recuperating from a knee problem, while playmaker William Patching was forced off the pitch with 16 minutes of normal time remaining on Friday.

Should the 25-year-old be forced to relinquish his place in the team, Patrick McEleney is a like-for-like replacement, while Sadou Diallo made his first start of the season on Friday after battling back from a knee concern.

However, nine-goal striker Patrick Hoban was booked for the fifth time this season last time out and must therefore serve a suspension, opening the door for Danny Mullen to spearhead the attack.

Shamrock Rovers possible starting lineup:
Pohls; Cleary, Lopes, Honohan; Farrugia, Nugent, Noonan, Byrne, Kavanagh; Greene, Burke

Derry City possible starting lineup:
Maher; Boyce, S. McEleney, McJannett, Coll; Harkin, Diallo; McMullan, P. McEleney, Duffy; Mullen

We say: Shamrock Rovers 0-0 Derry City

The loss of Hoban is a bitter blow to Derry’s chances of denting Shamrock’s title bid further, but the Candystripes can almost always be relied upon to keep things tight at the back.

As such, an out-of-sorts and weary Shamrock – also missing chief creator Watts – may lose their outstanding scoring streak at home, but Derry’s own lack of rest will work against them in what may prove to be an uneventful stalemate.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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