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Baraclough eyes capital gains in Sligo's last Dublin trip

CAN Sligo Rovers win the league? The case against is diminishing by the week.

They face a serious hurdle tonight when they face St Patrick's Athletic in Inchicore and, if they can avoid defeat -- like they did in Tallaght last Monday week -- then Ian Baraclough's side will enter Devon Loch territory.

Sligo are eight points clear of second-placed Drogheda, and 10 ahead of defending champions Shamrock Rovers.

Liam Buckley's Saints are a further point back and if they win tonight and collect full points from their game in hand, they would be only five points adrift.

But that's a big ask. The reality is that if Sligo come away from their last trip to the capital this season with a positive result, they will have one hand on the trophy.

After this fixture, they have eight games remaining, and five are on home soil. Giddy times, but their English manager is maintaining a calm front.

"We have to keep doing what we're doing and take each game as it presents itself," Baraclough said. "We've had three good results in recent matches and we're building week on week.

"This is the first of two meetings with St Pat's (they meet again in the third last game of the season), which shows just how much there is to play for over the next nine games.

" They will feel that this is a chance to put themselves right into contention, and we have to take on that challenge, go out with the right approach, and show we can deal with it."

Saints manager Buckley said: "Sligo have been the league's best side this year to date. We found it tough up there earlier in the year but, that said, we could easily have won the game."

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ST PAT'S ATH v SLIGO ROVERS

(Richmond Park, 7.45)

League form: St Pat's LDWLW, Sligo DWDWW.

Odds: St Pat's 17/10, Sligo 6/4, Draw 11/5

Referee: N Doyle (Dublin)

Team news: The hosts are still without Dean Kelly, Stephen O'Flynn and Mark Rossiter, while John Russell (ankle) will undergo a fitness. Kenny Browne and Darren Meenan return. Pascal Millien is a doubt for Sligo.

Verdict: Draw.


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