Dundalk make the trip to Tolka Park on Friday night hoping to build on last Sunday’s spirited second-half display against Derry City.
Trailing by a goal at the break, Stephen O’Donnell’s men turned the game on its head with two quickfire second-half goals from Robbie Benson and Johannes Yli-Kokko and were only denied a much-needed win by Cian Kavanagh’s late equaliser.
This is the third competitive meeting between the sides in 2023. Dundalk won the corresponding league fixture at Oriel Park back in March when second-half goals from Rayhaan Tulloch and Andy Boyle wiped out JR Wilson’s opener.
Shels exacted some form of revenge when they took advantage of Hayden Muller’s early dismissal to run out comfortable 4-0 winners in the Leinster Senior Cup tie at Oriel Park 18 nights later.
That result sent Dundalk into a spiral of four straight defeats but the Lilywhites stopped the rot with a well-earned point against Derry last time out and although they sit in eighth position, they remain just five points behind second-placed St Patrick’s Athletic.
The clash with Damien Duff’s men will be broadcast live on RTE and would be the ideal place for Dundalk to claim their first win since the Louth Derby victory over Drogheda United five weeks ago.
Wasiri Williams starts a two-game suspension following his red card against Derry City. Greg Sloggett, Cameron Elliott, Daniel Kelly, Louie Annesley and John Mountney are all ruled out with injuries.
Quotes – Stephen O’Donnell
“Shelbourne played well last week against Shamrock Rovers and they won their last home game against Sligo. We’ve had two tough games against them at Oriel this season and we know this is going to be another competitive, high-intensity affair. It’s on national TV so it’s a great chance for players to showcase their abilities.
“We played well against Derry City last week and took control of the game so we’ll be looking for more of the same. We have good players but it’s tricky when you have to change your team most weeks.
“We would have liked to have integrated our new players gradually but we’ve had to throw them in right from the start. I think that will bear fruit and stand to us later in the season but at this stage, everything is still relatively new to them.
“We just have to ride through it. Injuries are part of football but they seem to have hammered us over the last year. That’s the way it is, we just have to go on the front foot and try to march forward. We have seven games in the next 30 days and as long as the players give me full commitment, that’s all I can ask of them.”
Quotes – Keith Ward
“Shels are so organised and they’re very tough to play against. Damien Duff has them pumped up for every game and, to be fair, they bring it in every match.
“We know it’ll never be an easy game at Tolka. It’ll be a good atmosphere and last year we brought two great crowds there so, hopefully, it’s the same on Friday.
“From our end, we’re looking forward to it and we’re enjoying the challenge at the moment. Football’s not always easy and it’s the tough times that stand to you. The belief is there and if we can go to Tolka and get a win, it could really kickstart the season.”
Referee: Damien MacGraith
Assistants: Emmett Dynan and Darragh Keegan
Fourth Official: Adrian Reale