Limerick FC entertain Sligo Rovers in a must win game at the Markets Field

Limerick FC welcome Sligo Rovers to the Markets Field on Friday night in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division (kick-off 7.45). Limerick are currently five points behind Sligo but the visitors also have a game in hand. It means that the clash is virtually a must win if Limerick are to have any chance of avoiding the playoff in October.

Limerick come into the game off the back of a hard fought 0-2 FAI Cup win against Cockhill Celtic in Donegal. Goals from Killian Brouder and Barry Maguire secured the victory and passage to the last 16 where they will face Cabinteely. On the other hand, Sligo suffered a surprise 0-1 defeat at home to Longford town. It is the second year in a row that the North-West club have been eliminated by the Midlands club.

Limerick manager Tommy Barrett has been totally honest in relation to what is required from Friday’s clash. When speaking to the club’s official website, Barrett stated;

“We need to win. It is as simple as that. There is no point in beating around the bush about it. If we are realistic about getting out of the playoff place, then we need three points here.”

Limerick have doubts over defensive duo Eoin Wearen and Killian Cantwell who both missed the last league outing at Bohemians due to suspension. Barrett will be desperately hoping that at least one of the two is available as Limerick suffered a defensive re-shuffle and a 5-0 defeat in Dublin when both players were absent. Cantwell has been a solid performer for Limerick since signing from Finn Harps last season.

Colman Kennedy will serve his suspension for his straight red card away at Bohemians which adds to the defensive woes for Barrett. Opponents Sligo will be without experienced duo David Cawley and Kyle Callan-McFadden due to suspension. Former Limerick FC player Lee-J Lynch now lines out for the Bit O’Red following a return from America.

Although many were expecting Limerick to struggle this season, Sligo’s current league position has surprised many including Barrett.

“Sligo are probably not doing as well as they should be with the budget that they have; with the players that they have and even the players they have on the bench. They have a good squad. They have signed players, experienced players, that we could not afford in a million years.”

Sligo will travel to Limerick following a 2-1 league victory over Derry City two weeks ago. A win for them will put them 8 points clear of Limerick with a game in hand so Ger Lyttle’s team will need no further motivation. However, the club have been knocked out of the EA Sports and FAI Cup’s since that league victory.

The clubs have met on three occasions already this season. On the opening night of the campaign, a second half goal from Darren Dennehy gave Limerick all three points. Sligo enacted revenge for the defeat with a 1-2 win at the Markets Field. The meeting at the Showgrounds in May ended in a scoreless draw.

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