Shelbourne -v- UCDFri, Aug 10 2012
Shelbourne will be hoping to improve on their mid-table position when they welcome UCD to Tolka Park on Friday evening. Alan Mathews’ side had last weekend off and will be eager to get back to winning ways after losing their last home game to Drogheda United.
Shels have experienced a pretty good return to the top flight and another three points on Friday could potentially see them move up to fifth place but their home form has been indifferent with defeats to Drogheda, Shamrock Rovers, Bohs and Cork wedged in between comfortable victories over the sides that are at the bottom of the standings.
Having had last weekend off due to Monaghan United’s withdrawal from the league, there are no injury worries for Mathews ahead of the Students’ visit to Tolka Park.
Philly Gorman scored after 17 seconds in the previous meeting between the sides this season as Shels came out 2-0 winners at Belfield but Alan Mathews knows that his side will need to be on top of their game on Friday if they are to pick up just their fourth league win on front of their home fans.
“We know we will have to produce a really top class performance to achieve the three points on offer, but I firmly believe that we have the players to take on any side this season, and go into this game full of confidence. “ he told the club website.
“UCD are one of the best footballing sides in the county and we are going to have to work really hard to get a result on the night.” Mathews added.
As well as being bottom of the table, UCD are currently at the foot of the form guide and they need to start picking up points sooner rather than later or else they will find themselves adrift of Dundalk and Bray Wanderers.
The Students currently sit bottom of the Airtricity League Premier Division table with 11 points from 19 games so far and lie four points behind 10th placed Dundalk.
Martin Russell’s side have put in some result meriting performances in recent weeks but have been extremely unfortunate not to have taken anything from away games against Drogheda and Bohemians. Having said that, the Students have picked up just a single point on the road this season and need to become more clinical on front of goal and add solidity to their defending.
Russell has had to deal with injuries to key players throughout the season and the Belfield treatment room remains busy with top-scorer Graham Rusk, goalkeeper John Kelly, midfielders Tom O’Halloran, Chris Mulhall and striker Cillian Morrison all side-lined for the trip across the capital. However Samir Belhout and David O’Connor return to the squad after missing last week’s clash with Shamrock Rovers through injury.
One of UCD’s key players is Paul Corry and the midfielder has been consistently linked with a move across the Irish sea over the past year and it seems he is not far away from departing Belfield according to his manager.
“We will continue our philosophy despite not having the results that we feel our performances have deserved, but we maintain our attacking philosophy.”
“Players like Paul Corry have benefited from this and it looks as if he may have a move to another level in the game imminently.” He added.
Shelbourne could have four former Students in their squad for Friday evening and speaking ahead of the game, the UCD boss admits his players will be up against it.
“Shels, as I knew they would, have proved they are a worthy Premier Division team and we know like all the games that will are going to have to bring our best to get something from the game.”
Referee: Graham Kelly
UCD have lost 12 of their last 14 away matches in Airtricity League. There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Shelbourne's last 6 home games in Airtricity League.
Philly Gorman scored after just 17 seconds in the league meeting between the sides earlier in the season.
Shelbourne 4/6, Draw 5/2, UCD 4/1
UCD have shown they can give anyone a game but their lack of firepower in the final third coupled with their inability to keep it tight at the back means Shels should come out on top; 3-1 home victory.
Shelbourne Injury News: None
Shelbourne Suspension News: None
UCD Injury News: John Kelly, Graham Rusk, Tom O’Halloran, Chris Mulhall, Cillian Morrison
UCD Suspension News: None