Ninth plays third in the SSE Airtricity League First Division as Wexford welcome Shelbourne to Ferrycarrig Park on Friday (kick-off 8pm).
The teams experienced conflicting fortunes in the FAI Cup last weekend with Wexford suffering a chastening home defeat to Premier Division Bohemians.
Wexford have gone four league games without a win, although they will take some positives from their last home league game when they drew 0-0 against Drogheda United.
Down to ten men after Sean Kelly’s red card, Wexford more than held their own and might have beaten the Drogs at the death.
There were few plusses during last Friday’s 7-0 pasting by Bohs, but Wexford were heartened by the late introduction as a substitute of top scorer Aaron Dobbs, who had missed Wexford’s previous five matches through injury.
Wexford have won just once in the league all season at Ferrycarrig Park.
Lack of goals has been a problem – Wexford have scored just ten at home and seven of those came in one match, the 7-0 romp against bottom club Athlone Town back in April.
It’s five games since Wexford found the target – Mark Slater and Dean Kelly netted in the 2-1 away win at Cabinteely six weeks ago.
John Morgan is in contention for a place in the team against Shels, having returned from suspension.
Ryan Nolan picked-up a knock in training during the week and is doubtful.
Shelbourne are the middle of a good run, which has seen progress in three different competitions – the League, FAI Cup and Leinster Senior Cup.
Shels had a comfortable home win over First Division strugglers Athlone Town in the FAI Cup first round, while they also defeated Bluebell United to reach the Leinster Senior Cup final on Monday.
“Our league form has been good,” said an understandably delighted Shels boss Owen Heary.
“We’ve scored 13 goals in the last three games at home, so hopefully we can continue that going forward.”
“I think that, the addition of Greg Moorhouse, Karl Moore and Paddy Kavanagh has definitely given us more impetus going forward.
“[That's] something that we were probably lacking throughout the year – getting more goals and more creativity around the middle of the park, so having those players gives us that.
“We have a good decent squad. Young Shane [Farrell] came on and helped create a goal, Dayo [Dayle Rooney] came on and created chances for Paddy as well, so overall it’s going well.
“We’re in the next round of the Cup and it’s looking positive that going forward we can make the playoffs.”
After a 1-0 home defeat to Drogheda United in early July, Shels have taken ten points from their last four league matches, scoring eleven goals in the process.
The Reds’ away form has been good. They have lost just twice on their league travels this season, to south Dublin rivals Cabinteely and UCD.
Referee: Robert Dowling
The two meetings between the sides in the league this season have seen two wins for Shelbourne.
A goal from Arran Molloy gave Shels victory on the last occasion the sides met at Ferrycarrig Park. That was back in March.
The most recent encounter was at Tolka Park in June and Shels comprehensively claimed with the points after a 4-1 victory.
Derek Prendergast netted twice and Shane Farrell (who has just signed a professional contract with Shels) and Owen McCormack were on target that day.
Wexford will be seeking to win at Ferrycarrig Park in the league for the first time since April. The Wexford men did beat Shels twice in the league last season.
Wexford’s last home league victory over Shels came courtesy of an early Thomas Croke goal on 19th May 2017.
Wexford 9/1; Draw 4/1; Shelbourne 1/5.
Wexford 1 – 3 Shelbourne
Doubtful: Ryan Nolan.
Injured: Aidan Collins, Dave Mulcahy, Mark Hughes.
Suspended: James English (eight yellow cards).