A real six-pointer takes place at the Showgrounds as Sligo Rovers take on second-from-bottom Limerick in a crucial game at the foot of the Premier Division on Friday evening (kick-off 7.45pm).
Sligo Rovers will look to take home advantage and create further daylight between themselves and the relegation zone by taking maximum points.
The Bit o’ Red battled hard to earn themselves a valuable point last Friday evening against Shamrock Rovers at the Showgrounds as they held out for a 0-0 draw.
The Bit O’Red have been inconsistent with their form lately having just picked up three wins in their last ten competitive matches, with wins over Bray and Limerick in the league and a 1-0 win over high flying Waterford in the EA Sports Cup.
“Clean sheets are something we have been seeking,” manager Gerard Lyttle told the club's official website.
“I thought we were very solid and tenacious in the tackle, aggressive and stood up to Shamrock Rovers. We restricted them but it wasn’t our game plan to be defensive.
“They are a good side so we had to deal with that and they switched between three and five at the back, playing high up the pitch, so it wasn’t easy for us to get at them.
“We went to Limerick and got the goal and took the game to them, and it was tight. It’s going to be a real battle and our reports from the last two games show a team with talented players that can hurt teams, as we saw in Waterford. They may be targeting this game after a tough game against Cork.”
Sligo boss Lyttle has a number of selection headaches to contend with as Gary Boylan (hamstring), Regan Donelan (ankle ligament), and Adam Morgan (abdominal) are all side-lined with injuries.
Despite returning from a hamstring problem, Patrick McClean is out through suspension. Raffaele Cretaro is also a doubt with a hip injury, but Jack Keaney returns after recovering from a head injury.
Limerick will make the trip up to the north-west in search of a precious away win to climb further away from the relegation trapdoor in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division.
The Super Blues will be determined to bounce back from the disappointment of their 2-0 defeat to Cork City at the Market’s Field on Monday evening.
Two second half goals from Garry Buckley did the damage to condemn Limerick to their 11th league defeat of the season.
Limerick had produced their best performance of the season on Friday evening when they thrashed Europa League contenders Waterford 6-3 at the RSC.
Limerick raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to a brace from Danny Morrissey before Stanley Aborah received his marching orders following a reckless challenge after 19 minutes.
Goals from Karl O’Sullivan, Mark O’Sullivan, Barry Maguire and Billy Dennehy capped a great night for the away fans.
Limerick have been on a dreadful run recently with just two wins in their last 16 league and cup matches and 11 defeats.
Limerick have been finding goals to come by apart from the Waterford game, having managed a meagre five in 15 matches while keeping only kept two clean sheets in that time.
Limerick boss Tommy Barrett has some positive news on the injury front with the return of Barry Maguire and also welcomes back Eoin Wearen from suspension.
However, midfielder Conor Clifford joins Danny Morrissey, Conor Ellis, and Darren Dennehy on the treatment table after sustaining an injury in the defeat to Cork City on Monday evening.
Sligo Rovers and Limerick have met twice already this season in the league with Limerick winning the opening match 1-0 at the Showgrounds and Sligo exacting revenge with a 2-1 win at the Market’s Field.
Last season the sides met three times with honours even as Limerick won the first game 5-1 at the Market’s Field, Sligo winning 3-0 at the Showgrounds and a 0-0 draw in the final game in Limerick.
Since 2000, the Bit o’ Red and the Super Blues have played each other 35 times in all competitions with Sligo edging it with 13 wins to Limerick’s 11, with 11 draws.
Sligo Rovers scored 45 goals averaging 1.29 per game while Limerick scored 37 goals averaging 1.06 per game.
Sligo Rovers 10/11 Draw 23/10 Limerick 11/4
Sligo Rovers 1-1 Limerick
Injured: Gary Boylan, Regan Donelan, Adam Morgan.
Doubtful: Raffaele Cretaro.
Suspensions: Patrick McClean.
Injured: Conor Clifford, Danny Morrissey, Conor Ellis, Darren Dennehy.