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St Patrick’s and Sligo Rovers forsake Europa League dreams

Those who were hoping that Irish teams will finally make a breakthrough it Europe were disappointed after both St. Patrick’s and Sligo Rovers were eliminated during the qualifiers. http://www.goal.com/en-ie/news/3942/ireland/2014/07/24/4980425/st-pats-elimination-shows-that-irish-football-needs-more paints an accurate but somewhat disappointing picture about what the Irish football is going through and the conclusions are worrisome to say the least.thesports

Saint Patrick’s squandered plenty of opportunities in the first leg played in Poland against Legia Warsaw and they were humiliated in the second leg, in front of their fans. It is a terrible way to get eliminated from the European competition and the fact that they failed to score at least once while the visitors found their way to the net five times doesn’t bode well ahead of this match.

The crushing pressure got the best of them and after a decent performance on the road, they crumbled and allowed the visitors to push them around. On the bright side, St. Patrick’s rebounded just a few days later and won without breaking a sweat away from home at Athlone Town. Even though this is the last placed team in the Irish Premier League, the victory is still a good sign for a team that is yet to forsake its dream of winning the championship.

Sligo Rovers knows exactly what their opponents went through a couple of days ago, because they were also at one point ahead in the qualification race. They managed to win on the road against Rosenberg, but the more experienced Norwegian team didn’t give them a chance in the second leg. It made no difference that the hosts were the ones to score first, because the visitors scored three times and sent them crashing, effectively ending the hosts of Irish football fans to have a team in Europa League.

Now they will travel to St. Patrick’s and since they don’t have high expectations for this season, a draw on the road would be regarded as a decent result. In order to secure it, they will focus on the defense and use a single striker, North, West scored just five goals this season. By comparison, the hosts have a potent offensive, with three strikers scoring a total of 35 goals, more than any other offensive in the Premier League. All of them are expected to play tonight against Sligo Rovers, which explains why bookmakers are so optimistic about the hosts chances of emerging victorious and credit them with even odds.

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