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St Patrick's Athletic
League of Ireland Premier | Gameweek 21
Jun 13, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
Richmond Park
Shamrock Rovers

St Patrick's
2 - 1

Keating (76'), Kavanagh (90+6')
Grivosti (17'), Redmond (88')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Kenny (32')
Poom (58'), Steacy (71'), Byrne (89'), Watts (90')

Preview: St Patrick's Athletic vs. Shamrock Rovers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's League of Ireland Premier clash between St Patrick's Athletic and Shamrock Rovers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

St Patrick's Athletic will welcome Shamrock Rovers to Richmond Park on Thursday for a game of importance at both ends of the League of Ireland Premier Division table.

Despite only seven points separating them in the top flight, the hosts sit one place and eight points above the relegation zone, while their visitors trail the top two by seven with games in hand and will bid to narrow the gap in their title defence.

Match preview

St Patrick's Athletic return to Richmond Park on Thursday with the aim of kickstarting a climb through the League of Ireland Premier Division table, having endured a tough campaign thus far.

After second, fourth and third-placed finishes over the last three seasons, the Saints are yet to impress in 2024, currently sitting eighth having only collected 24 points from their opening 22 outings.

The appointment of Stephen Kenny is yet to inspire a major turnaround in Inchicore, with Thursday's hosts having managed just one victory in his first six games at the helm, beating Galway United 2-1 at home at the end of last month thanks to Alex Nolan's 88th-minute winner.

They have been unable to build on that result in two favourable fixtures since, though, firstly hosting basement side Dundalk and leaving empty-handed from a 3-2 defeat, having gone 3-0 down inside 22 minutes at Richmond Park, before most recently visiting Drogheda United and only maintaining an eight-point lead in a goalless stalemate.

Remaining eighth as a result of their disappointing run, having played at least two matches more than every other side in the division other than second-placed Derry City, St Patrick's Athletic will be desperate to get their season on track in the coming weeks, starting with a return to winning ways on Thursday.

That will be no easy task, though, as the defending champions arrive aiming to make it back-to-back wins in the top flight and move closer to the league's frontrunners.

After winning the title in each of the last four League of Ireland Premier Division seasons, Shamrock Rovers find themselves in the midst of a somewhat tougher campaign, having already lost major ground in the fight for top spot.

Following a relatively pleasing start to their latest defence, the Hoops would endure a poor run by their own standards between late April and mid-May, winning just once and earning seven points in a seven-match span which culminated in a 1-0 defeat to basement side Dundalk, leaving them well outside the top two on 25 points from 17 outings.

Stephen Bradley's side have since kept pace with two victories in the last three attempts, though, firstly bouncing back by beating second-placed Derry City 1-0 at home, only to suffer a harmful defeat to leaders Shelbourne, before most recently returning to winning ways in a 2-0 triumph away at strugglers Drogheda United, as Johnny Kenny and Graham Burke netted their goals early in the second half.

Now sitting third after their 20 games, seven points behind Derry City with two games in hand and nine off Shelbourne with one in hand, the title race is certainly out of Shamrock Rovers' hands, but they will attempt to narrow the gap with an improved run in the coming weeks, starting with what would be a third win in four games on Thursday.

St Patrick's Athletic League of Ireland Premier form:

Shamrock Rovers League of Ireland Premier form:

Team News

St Patrick's Athletic's attack should again be led by Ruairi Keating, who has notched up five goals so far this season, while 16-year-old Mason Melia is bound to keep his place in the front line too, having chipped in with four of his own.

Cian Kavanagh, who has also hit the net four times, will also push to come in from the start after Kian Leavy and Jake Mulraney completed the supporting trio against Drogheda United last time out.

Mainstays Jamie Lennon and Chris Forrester will continue their partnership in the centre of the midfield, while Stephen Kenny may be forced into changes at the back with Ryan McLaughlin forced off in the first half against Drogheda and Conor Keeley withdrawn at the interval.

Shamrock Rovers could be unchanged from their 2-0 triumph over Drogheda United last time out, with Celtic loanee Johnny Kenny again bound to star up front having moved onto eight goals for the season with the opener in that game.

He will be joined by Aaron Greene, who has also notched up eight goals for the Hoops this term, while Graham Carey will provide further support to the front two.

Richie Towell will compete for a starting berth in the midfield, but Stephen Bradley may stick with the pairing of Aaron McEneff and Conan Noonan in the centre, while key man Markus Poom will continue to drop into a back three alongside Darragh Nugent and Lee Grace if Roberto Lopes, Daniel Cleary and Josh Honohan all remain out of action.

St Patrick's Athletic possible starting lineup:
Rogers; Bolger, Grivosti, Redmond, Turner; Lennon, Forrester; Melia, Leavy, Mulraney; Keating

Shamrock Rovers possible starting lineup:
Pohls; Nugent, Poom, Grace; Farrugia, Noonan, McEneff, O'Sullivan; Burke; Kenny, Greene

SM words green background

We say: St Patrick's Athletic 0-2 Shamrock Rovers

While Shamrock Rovers may continue to field a makeshift back line due to an unenviable injury list, they certainly have the quality to put a run of results together once they kick into gear, and with the chance to make it back-to-back wins while keeping games in hand on the top two, we back them to make that quality count in an away victory on Thursday.

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

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