League Preview: Shelbourne -v- Galway United

Fri, Apr 20 2018

The sides last met in a pre-season friendly in February, which finished 0-0 at Tolka Park. Credit: Paul Dolan

SHELBOURNE

After suffering their first defeat since the opening day of the season against Dublin rivals Cabinteely at Stradbrook, Shelbourne return to Tolka Park as they face off against Galway United At the storied Drumcondra venue (kick-off 7.45pm).

A week of excitement has seen many new faces arrive at the club as former League of Ireland stars David O’Connor and Dave Henderson have both joined the ranks as CEO and head of recruitment respectively.

The Reds will be looking to bounce back from their second Dublin derby defeat of the season at Cabinteely last week when they host the Tribesmen.

Last week’s defeat saw the Drumcondra based side relinquish their impressive five-game run of clean sheets as Kieran Marty Waters and Conor Keeley punished some lax Shelbourne defending at Stradbrook.

Shelbourne boss Owen Heary spoke of his desire to write the wrongs of last week’s poor display on Dublin’s southside.

“We know we didn’t play well last week,” Heary told the club’s media team.

“The pitch didn’t help matters and some decisions went against us, but we have to get over these setbacks and get on with things.

“We have spoken about last week’s game and trained well, focusing on Friday’s game and getting back to gaining points.”

Heary has no suspensions or definite injuries to contend with but Adam Evans and Lorcan Fitzgerald may have to sit out the clash due to foot and hamstring complaints.
 

GALWAY UNITED

Shane Keegan’s Galway United head to the capital for the second time this season as they get ready to square off against Owen Heary’s promotion chasing Reds at Tolka Park.

Keegan’s side have yet to pick up an away win on their travels to their promotion rivals but they will take some encouragement that they have yet to have been defeated on their exercusions so far this season.

"It's a tough game,” Keegan told the club's media team.

“Shelbourne had won their last five games on the bounce before the Cabinteely game, which is fantastic form for any team.

"It's no surprise that they're right up there. They have some quality players and in Adam Evans and Davy O'Sullivan, they got two of the best players in the division. They're well stocked.

"We're going into games now against some of the sides around us in the table. A lot of the games against the top six have been away and we found ourselves with a few difficult away fixtures.

"If we could go and get a win away from home against one of the top sides in the division, it would be a fantastic result for the football club.

"We have a lot of options, especially in the final third of the pitch. You've got Danny Furlong and Eoin McCormack, then Stephen Kenny, Ronan Manning, Carlton Ubaezuonu, Conor Barry and Conor Melody have all made significant impacts in different games too.

"It's the area of the pitch that you want stiff competition in and they'll all have to play their part in the coming weeks."

Keegan will have to plan ahead for tonight’s game without the services of Aaron Conway, who misses out with a groin issue, while top scorer Danny Furlong is also a doubt with a calf problem.

 

Referee: Eoghan O’Shea

 

MATCH STATS

Galway United have yet to secure an away win so far this season as they have been held in both of their away excursions since their return to the First Division against UCD and Drogheda United.

Shelbourne, on the other hand, have the second-best home form in the league so far this term having won all three of their games at Tolka Park this year with wins over Midlands pairing Athlone Town and Longford Town, sandwiched in with a tense 1-0 victory over Cobh Ramblers in Drumcondra.

This game will see the two most prolific strikers in the league go face to face as Danny Furlong comes up against rival David O’Sullivan at Tolka Park. However, Furlong may not play here due to concerns over a calf strain.

 

BETTING

Shelbourne 8/5; Draw 11/5; Galway United 6/4.

PREDICTION

Shelbourne 2-1 Galway United

 

Shelbourne

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Adam Evans, Lorcan Fitzgerald.

Suspended: None.

 

Galway United

Injured: Aaron Conway.

Doubtful: Danny Furlong.

Suspended: None.