League preview: Bohemians -v- Shamrock Rovers – The home of Irish football


Bohs were on the wrong end of a new manager bounce when they lost 2-0 to Noel King-managed Dundalk last weekend, so they will be keen to bounce back from that defeat themselves when they entertain Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park on Friday night ( KO 7:45 PM).

The Gypsies had responded well to the arrival of their own new manager Alan Reynolds in recent weeks and went into the game at Oriel Park on the back of three straight wins.

However, they were 2-0 down at half time and any chance they had of getting at least one point from the match evaporated in the 62NL minute when James Akintunde’s penalty was saved by Lilywhites keeper George Shelvey.

Despite the defeat to Dundalk, they are still in a healthy enough position in the table. They occupy fourth place with 19 points, just six points behind leaders Shelbourne and one game ahead of the three teams ahead of them.

Speaking to the Bohs media team ahead of the Rovers game this week, Reynolds said: “Before last week’s game I felt like we got the basics right. We were winning our duels, our individual battles.

“But that’s something we didn’t do against Dundalk last Friday. We were disappointed with our performance, especially in the first half.”

He also added: “There was a bug in the team last week, which played a role because it affected three or four players. It also affected us in terms of the changes we had to make at half-time. But thankfully, apart from Danny Grant, it’s gone from the group this week.

“We know there will be a slightly different game plan against Shamrock Rovers this time to how we played against them last time. But we have prepared well.

“The boys were disappointed with themselves last week, especially in the first half, as I said, and I want to see a response from them.”


Shamrock Rovers’ slow but unsurprising climb up the table continued unabated last Monday evening as they secured a deserved 4-0 home win against second-placed Drogheda United.

Victory in that catch-up match, which was re-arranged due to a snow postponement, moved them to second place in the rankings, just two points behind leaders Shelbourne.

Despite their slow start to the season, they have only lost two games all season and go to Dalymount Park on Friday evening with a five-match unbeaten run under their belt.

The Hoops lost Richie Towell to injury during the match against Drogheda and he became the tenth player on their endless injury list, joining Sean Hoare, Lee Grace, Neil Farrugia, Gary O’Neill, Markus Poom, Aaron McNeff, Jack Byrne, Graham Burke and Rory Gaffney on the treatment table.

Some of these players are about to return to action, while others will need more rehabilitation time. Rovers’ medical team will therefore have to continue working overtime to get these players back on the field as quickly as possible.

Despite the injury problems, manager Stephen Bradley is looking forward to another high-intensity Dublin Derby and spoke to the Irish Mirror this week and said: “Derbies can be anything, last year with Bohs we were 2-0 there, it finished 2 -2. and could have lost the game in ten minutes, like Arsenal-Tottenham on Sunday, they were ahead and it could have been 3-3,” said Bradley.

“It’s changing so quickly, so we have to stay focused. I know how they will play, how Alan (Reynolds) likes to play and it will be a tough task.

“They were really good, we beat them here and then they went on a really good run. Dublin derbies are always tough and Alan’s teams are well trained,” he added.

“I think, apart from one of their games, they have been happy to have less possession and win games and we have to be ready for that.

“They have Connolly who is lightning fast, dribblers in Clarke and Rooney on the left. They are good in transition, so we have to be ready for that.”

Referee: Damian McGrath


Bohemians have struggled to beat Shamrock Rovers both home and away over the past two seasons, which does not bode well for them going into action on Friday night.

They have recorded one win and a draw in their last eight meetings dating back to April 2022, with Rovers having the upper hand in all other six matches.

The most recent jousting took place at Tallaght Stadium in late March, where the Hoops were in complete control of the match, leading 3-0 into the 90s.e minute when Declan McDaid scored a consolation goal for the Gypsies.

Rovers’ goalscorers on the night were Johnny Kenny, Darragh Burns and Aaron Greene.

Those same three players are also on the list of top ten goalscorers in the Premier Division after thirteen games, Aaron Greene (7), Darragh Burns (4) and Johnny Kenny (4), while Bohemians have one in that category, James Akintunde (4).


Bohemians 3/1; Draw 12/5; Clover Rovers 17/20


Bohemians 0 – 2 Shamrock Rovers


Injured: Keith Buckley, Rob Cornwall, Danny Grant.

Doubtful: No

Suspended: No

Shamrock Rovers

Injured: Aaron McNeff, Gary O Neill, Graham Burke, Richie Towell, Lee Grace

Doubtful: Markus Poom, Sean Hoare, Neil Farrugia, Jack Byrne, Rory Gaffney

Suspended: No