Updated: 30/03/18 : 06:06:53
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Rovers square up to each other tonight

THE FIRST meeting of the two ‘Rovers’ in the 2018 soccer season takes place at 8pm in Tallaght Stadium tonight, Good Friday.

Goals seem guaranteed, one way or the other, when you look at the stats for Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers after the season’s first series of games.

The Dublin side have scored more than any other team, champions Cork City included.

Two Goals

In fact the Hoops are averaging two goals per game, an impressive tally after their eight opening games.

Sligo Rovers have played only seven games so far but their dismal defensive tally shows they have leaked almost two goals every ninety minutes.

Fixtures between the two have never ever been predictable, though or paid too much attention to form.

Pace, Goalscorers

Sligo team boss Gerard Lyttle: “We have pace, we have goalscorers, we'll create chances. 

“I think the big pitch, and a good one, will suit us,” said the Sligo boss.

“We have to improve on our concentration levels,’’ he added, “and take the goal-scoring opportunities that we make.

“ I believe we can do so and come away with a result,” is Lyttle’s assessment of tonight’s tussle.

Both sides head out tonight after defeats in their most recent outings in the SSE Airtricity League.

Despite some comments to the contrary, Sligo Rovers were off the standard in their clash last weekend with Dundalk.

The Louth side never, ever looked likely to concede their unbeaten tag in the Showgrounds.

Dundalk have yet to concede a goal in the campaign and yes, they seem rock solid.

In the Showgrounds last weekend, apart from a jittery opening ten minutes they never looked likely to yield a score either.

Hoofing Ball

Some of Sligo’s style of play to date remains perplexing.

The number of balls thrown by the goalie to Bit o’ Red colleagues stays in single figures per game. Why? 

Hoofing the ball to the front runners has, very often, resulted in turnovers of poession.

Televised Games

Shamrocks are no world-beaters, anything but, as shown in over seven hundred minutes of football since mid February.

They have lost in both their televised games, to Bohemian FC and then were well outplayed by Waterford FC  last weekend.

A win tonight would continue Sligo Rover’s good ‘away’ record this season.

So far, they’ve had wins over Derry City (an away tie but played in Showgrounds) and Bray, plus a draw in Dalymount Park against Bohemian FC.

Oscar Traynor

In the past the Showgrounds hosted one of the most memorable- ever senior county GAA fixtures when Sligo faced Kerry in the 1940s.

Tonight, the counties feature at the same venue in the junior soccer Oscar Traynor Cup quarter final clash.

The game in which Sligo/Leitrim face Kerry was postponed during the recent snow alerts and is timed for 7.30pm.