Newly promoted Shelbourne will entertain rivals St. Patrick’s Athletic in a potentially mouth-watering Dublin derby in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division at Tolka Park on Friday evening (kick-off 7.45pm).
Shels will be aiming to leapfrog their near neighbours by registering their first home win of the season and give the Drumcondra faithful cause for celebration.
Shels first match of the season saw them produce a gutsy display at Turner’s Cross and grind out a 1-0 win thanks to Ciaran Kilduff’s scrappy goal to get off to the perfect start to life back in the top flight.
Shels boss Ian Morris was understandably disappointed at the postponement of the match against Finn Harps but is feeling optimistic ahead of their first Dublin derby of the season telling www.shelbournefc.ie, “When you have a bit of momentum, you want to get going and we had prepared straight into the weekend.
“But with Pat’s on Friday, we’ve got a full week to prepare and the week hasn’t been as disrupted, so we’ll be fresh.”
Morris also spoke of his admiration for fellow manager Stephen O’Donnell and stressed the importance of his team’s work ethic ahead of the game saying to www.shelbournefc.ie, “Stephen O’Donnell has done a fantastic job in Inchicore, unknown faces who’ve played at a high level.
“They’ve added quality, but we’ve got to match their quality and match the determination on Friday night.”
Morris is also hoping for a similar turnout by the Drumcondra faithful and wants the home fans to act as the twelfth man telling www.shelbournefc.ie, “I can’t reiterate it enough how important a loud support is” both home and away.
“The fan base propels the players forward and helps them grab the game by the scruff on the neck and try get the three points.”
Shelbourne boss Morris has a fully fit squad to select from for tomorrow’s match and have no suspensions.
ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
St. Pat’s will make the very short trip to the Northside of the capital with ambitions to make it two wins on the spin and pile more misery on their rivals.
St. Patrick’s Athletic also had their arranged fixture against Derry City postponed due to ill clement weather last Monday evening and have had additional time to prepare for tomorrow evenings match.
Stephen O’Donnell’s side were in impressive form in their last league outing which culminated in a 2-0 away win against struggling Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds last Friday evening.
There will be mixed emotions ahead of the match tomorrow evening for defender Lee Desmond who faces his former side Shelbourne who he left to join St. Patrick’s Athletic back in 2014.
Desmond was pleased with how he and his team mates acquitted themselves in difficult conditions last week telling www.stpatsfc.com, "It was good to get the win last week. It was funny in that we had less chances against Sligo compared to the defeat we had to Waterford on the opening night.
“But we were really good at taking our chances against Sligo. We couldn't play as much in Sligo due to the weather, but we played the conditions well and took our chances when they came along."
Desmond spoke also of how the team has not let the cancellation of the Derry match disrupt their preparation for the Dublin derby saying to www.stpatsfc.com, "We now have Shelbourne on Friday after the game was cancelled during the week. We've approached this as a normal match week and we trained as normal on Monday once the news came that the Derry game was off.”
“So our focus has been on Shels since then. We've done our homework on them and know that they got a great win in Cork and played well against the champions last week.”
Saints boss O’Donnell will be left sweating on the availability of Billy King who faces a late fitness test and will be without the services of Ollie Younger who will be serving a one match ban after his dismissal against the Bit ‘O Red.
Referee: Sean Grant
Shelbourne and St. Patrick’s Athletic last met in a competitive fixture back in the 2018 season when they clashed in the Leinster Senior Cup with the match ending in a 1-1 draw with Shels winning 6-5 on penalties to progress.
Shels and the Saints have met each 14 times in total since 2011 with St. Pat’s enjoying the bragging rights with a superior head to head record with 8 wins to Shelbourne’s three and three draws.
Shelbourne scored 12 goals averaging 0.86 per game with St. Patrick’s Athletic scored 19 goals averaging 1.36 per game.
Shelbourne are currently in 6th place in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division on 3 points with one win and one draw from their 2 matches.
St. Patrick’s Athletic are currently in 5th place in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division on 3 points with one win and a draw from their 2 matches.
Shelbourne 5/2 Draw 21/10 St. Patrick’s Athletic EVS
Shelbourne 2-1 St. Patrick’s Athletic
St. Patrick’s Athletic
Doubtful: Billy King
Suspended: Ollie Younger