PREVIEW: SLIGO ROVERS v BOHEMIANS

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SSE Airtricity League
Saturday June 26 2021
The Showgrounds, 7.45pm
Live on LOITV

It is third against fourth as Sligo Rovers host Bohemians in the Showgrounds tonight.

For Liam Buckley’s Bit O’Red, it is an opportunity to go level with league leaders St Patrick’s Athletic and Shamrock Rovers, who both dropped points last night in draws away to Waterford and at home to Drogheda United respectively.

For Keith Long’s side, it is a chance to keep the pressure on the three teams currently ahead of them, while hopefully adding some distance between themselves and Drogheda United and Dundalk who are breathing down their necks in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Bohs come into this game in form with four wins and a draw from their last five games.

They are particularly buoyed by last Friday’s 5-0 over Drogheda United and Monday’s 1-0 win in the Dublin derby against Shamrock Rovers, with on-fire Georgie Kelly netting five between those two games to top the goalscoring charts with 11.

Shamrock Rovers had won the previous five meetings between the sides so Monday’s victory was not insignificant.

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But while fans’ natural inclination might be to get carried away with the bragging rights, now in his seventh season in charge of Bohs, Long has always been one to keep feet on the ground.

He is right to do so. Sligo came to Dalymount Park earlier this season and while it was a game that could have gone either way, Buckley’s men punished Bohs mistakes and went home with all three points.

They showed that night that they have a killer instinct that could punish Bohs once more tonight if Long’s men are not on top of their game.

So, understandably, Long did not dwell on Monday’s derby, and instead gave tonight’s opposition his full attention.

He said: “Sligo are an excellent team with a great balance of experience and some exciting young players.

“They beat us well in Dalymount in the last phase of games and, although we felt we could have got something from that game, they showed the quality they possess and punished us with some high quality goals.”

Bohs enjoyed a level of vocal support that belied the small number allowed to attend – 100 fans for each – their last two games.

It will be Sligo who can count on cheers from the stands this evening, with away fans yet to be allowed into games but Long’s men are fully focused on the job at hand.

Long added: “Going to the Showgrounds is always difficult and after a good couple of results, we understand that we will have to produce a really good performance to get any type of result.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians hope that Stephen Mallon (hip) will be available for selection once more.

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