The Saints return to Richmond Park for league action TONIGHT as they host local rivals Bohemians in what is another big Dublin derby for Liam Buckley's side, kick-off 7.45pm.
The Saints will be looking to claim the three points to maintain top spot in the Airtricity League, while Bohemians go in search of a crucial three points in their quest to open a gap between themselves and the bottom two sides, Shelbourne and Bray Wanderers.
The Inchicore side are looking to extend their impressive league form against Bohemians which sees them unbeaten in their previous nine league ties. The Saints last league defeat to the Gypsies came in October 2010 when a Raffaele Cretaro goal separated the sides – the goal coming from the Tubbercurry man after current Saint, Killian Brennan, saw his penalty saved by Chris Bennion.
Brennan, who has nine goals this season to date, including a 100% record of seven out of seven from the penalty spot, recognises the importance of the three points on offer to both sides in their respective league battles.
“Yeah it really is a game where both sides need to win it, Bohs need the points to move up the table and obviously it's also massive for us as we're looking to stay top,” he told stpatsfc.com.
“As a result of that, it's should be a decent game of football. The fact that it's a Dublin derby as well only adds to the occasion. From our end of things, we need to be clinical and put our chances away as we didn't do that in the last game against Bohs in Richmond. If we remain focused and do our jobs right, we can hopefully get a goal to go in front and take the points.”
In team news, Liam Buckley's sole injury concern surrounds the fitness of John Russell as he looks to recover from an ankle injury, but otherwise the Saints' boss has the same squad available to him from the 3-0 win against Bray Wanderers in last week's FAI Ford Cup third round game.
Friday's game could also see three players reach the landmark 50 appearance mark if Greg Bolger and former Bohemians' players Chris Forrester and Christy Fagan take to the field of play.
Having managed and played in previous games for the Saints against Bohemians, Buckley is no stranger to this particular Dublin derby and he outlined that the importance of the game.
“There is huge history behind this fixture against Bohemians and I can remember some fantastic league and cup games between our clubs when we were both competing at the top of the league in the mid 90's,” Buckley told stpatsfc.com.
“This Dublin derby always brings a great crowd to Inchicore so Richmond Park is hopefully going to be packed. We'll be looking to give our crowd something to shout about and hopefully they'll get behind the players and we can get the three points.”
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