League Preview: Shelbourne -v- Wexford

Fri, Jun 01 2018

Credit: Eoin Smith

SHELBOURNE

After stopping the rot of three successive league draws, Owen Heary’s promotion chasing Shelbourne will look to catapult themselves back into the third place with a win over Wexford at Tolka Park (kick-off 7.45pm).

Last time Shelbourne faced Damian Locke’s side at Ferrycarrig Park, Shels edged out their south-east opponents 1-0 as Arran Molloy poked home from short range.

Shelbourne have amassed a rather poor recent home record as they have failed to pick up a home win in over a month.

Their last home success came in an incredible 7-2 home victory against Tim Clancy’s Drogheda United in the EA Sports Cup.

Should Shelbourne manage to register their first home victory in over a month against Damian Locke’s Slaneysiders, they could find themselves as many as 21 points ahead of the Ferrycarrig Park outfit by the end of the weekend.

However, should Shels fail to gather all three points in Tolka Park, they could see themselves fall out of the playoff spots as Finn Harps and Longford Town look ready to pounce.

Similar to last week’s game against Cobh Ramblers at St Colman’s Park, Shelbourne boss Owen Heary reports all players as being fit with no injury concerns.

Despite this, Heary must plan for Friday night’s game under the lights at Tolka Park without the services of the influential James English, who sits out the game in Drumcondra with a suspension.

WEXFORD

Aiming to be the first side to inflict a home defeat upon Shelbourne this season, Wexford travel up to the capital in high-spirits.

Wexford actually came out on top last time these sides met at Tolka Park as they secured a comeback win over Owen Heary’s Reds.

Thomas Croke and Mikey Byrne both pounced to secure a memorable win for the Slaneysiders in what was one of their rare away day successes in 2017.

Since their 8-0 hammering at home to UCD at Ferrycarrig Park, Damian Locke and his backroom team looked to have really steadied the ship down in the sunny south-east.

They've put in some really positive showings in recent weeks as they look to bounce back from their mauling during early May.

This marked improvement culminated in last week’s draw against Finn Harps as Locke’s men showed their steely nature with a last gasp equaliser at the Glenville Road venue.

In terms of team news for Friday night’s game, Locke must prepare for the clash in the capital without the services of Ross Kenny who misses out via a broken toe while Mark Slater and John Morgan are also doubts for the game with injury issues.

Mikey Byrne is expected to be available after recovering from a recent injury setback.

 

Referee: Adriano Reale.

 

MATCH STATS

This game pits the league's best defence in Shelbourne, who have only conceded 10 goals so far this season, against the second worst, who have conceded a rather porous 35 goals so far this season.

Wexford have only picked up one point from a possible 15 in their last five games, which came in last week’s draw against Ollie Horgan’s Finn Harps side at Ferrycarrig Park.

Shelbourne’s top goalscorer David O’Sullivan has 11 league goals to his name, while Wexford’s top scorer Aaron Dobbs has five to his respective tally so far this season.

 

BETTING

Shelbourne 2/9; Draw 4/1; Wexford 17/2.

PREDICTION

Shelbourne 2–0 Wexford

 

Shelbourne

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: James English.

Wexford

Injured: Ross Kenny.

Doubtful: Mark Slater, John Morgan.

Suspended: None.

Suspended: None.