First Division leaders Waterford put their promotion aspirations on hold when they take on the challenge of Shelbourne in the first round of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup at the RSC on Friday evening (kick-off 7.45pm).
Waterford have a good cup pedigree and have had their name on the FAI Cup on 2 previous occasions first winning it in 1937 with their last cup success coming back in 1980.
Waterford were frustrated last Friday night at Stradbrook by a spirited display from Cabinteely who held out for a 1-1 draw despite going down to 10 men for the final 10 minutes.
The Blues have been on a six match unbeaten run since losing to 3-2 UCD in June with wins over Athlone Town, Cobh Ramblers, Longford Town and Wexford and draws against Cabinteely and Shelbourne.
The Blues boss Alan Reynolds will hope his side continue their excellent start to the season and have their name in the hat for the draw for the next round of the FAI Cup.
“It’s going to be a test against Shelbourne,” Reynolds told the club's media team.
“I watched them two weeks ago and they drew with UCD in the league last week so we know that they are a decent side as well.
“They are physical, strong and experienced side but I’m glad to be at home against them. It’s plain to see that we play better at home so thankfully for the next three weeks we’re at home and we’ll be hoping that we can go get three wins.
“It will be good to have David McDaid, Kenny Browne and Anthony McAlavey back available for the game as they are massive players for us.
“It will allow us the option to freshen things up a bit so hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves.”
Sander Puri is the only player unavailable as he continues to recover from ankle surgery.
Shelbourne will look to put their disappointing league campaign to one side and aim to kick start a decent cup run by taking the scalp of Waterford.
Shels will make the difficult and arduous journey to the Déise County off the back of a 1-1 draw last Friday night at Tolka Park against UCD in the First Division.
Shelbourne have stopped the rot recently and are unbeaten in their last 2 matches with a 3-1 win away to Longford Town followed by the draw against the Students.
Shels have been dogged by inconsistency all season so far which has resulted in the Drumcondra side falling well off the pace in their bid for promotion.
Shelbourne boss Owen Heary is aware of the difficult task facing his side but is positive about their prospects.
Shels have enjoyed a huge amount of success in the FAI Cup having won the trophy 7 times in 1939, 1960, 1963, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 2000.
Heary goes into this cup tie against Waterford with a fully fit squad from which to choose from and no suspensions.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer
Waterford and Shelbourne have met on three occasions this season in the SSE Airtricity First Division with two draws at Tolka Park (2-2 and 1-1) and Waterford narrowly winning 1-0 at the RSC.
The Blues and Shels have met each other 9 times in the FAI Cup with Shelbourne winning 8 times – 1932, 1949, 1951, 1954, 1958 (after two replays), 1982, 1997, and 2014 with Waterford’s only win coming in 1952 after another replay.
Waterford 1/2; Draw 14/5; Shelbourne 5/1.
Waterford 3-1 Shelbourne
Injured: Sander Puri (ankle).