Preview: Drogheda United vs. Shelbourne – prediction, team news, lineups – Football News

Preview: Drogheda United vs. Shelbourne – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s League of Ireland Premier clash between Drogheda United and Shelbourne, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Looking to bring an end to their highly-concerning eight-game winless run, Drogheda United will pit their wits against league leaders Shelbourne at Weavers Park in a League of Ireland clash on Thursday night.

The Drogs come into this fixture following their heaviest defeat of the campaign, whilst the pacesetting Shels are hoping to move a step closer to their first Irish crown in over 15 years.

Match preview

Since the much-needed 2-1 success over fellow strugglers Dundalk on May 6, Drogheda United have suffered a winless streak of eight matches, leaving their status as a League of Ireland outfit in serious doubt heading towards the business end of the term, with their four-year stay at this level nearing its conclusion.

Last time out saw the Drogs visit the home of second-placed Derry City and return to Weavers Park after receiving their biggest battering of the 2024 schedule to date, with strikes from Cameron Dummigan, William Patching, Daniel Kelly, Patrick Hoban and Ciaran Coll condemning the visitors to a 5-1 drubbing.

Needless to say, Drogheda were nowhere near ending their 12-game run without a victory on the road at Brandywell Stadium, so you imagine that Kevin Doherty‘s men will be delighted that Thursday’s clash is at Weavers Park, where they have collected 13 of their 16 top-tier points to date.

Approaching the business end of the campaign, the Drogs need a miraculous turnaround of their fortunes to avoid a bottom-two finish, with Thursday’s hosts currently sitting at the foot of the League of Ireland standings, nine points behind eighth-placed Bohemian, who have played two games fewer.

Only four players have scored more than once for Drogheda this season, with Haiti striker Frantz Pierrot leading the strugglers’ goalscoring charts with four strikes – only a fraction of what he managed in the second tier for Athlone Town during the 2023 campaign.

Since their most recent League of Ireland title in 2006, Shelbourne have been on a dramatic journey, dipping down into the lower leagues of the Irish game for prolonged periods before bouncing back, with Thursday’s hosts now on course to add a 13th league crown to their honours list.

Following a shock 2-1 home defeat to mid-table dwellers Sligo Rovers, the Shels have collected maximum points from the last three matches without conceding a goal, putting one past both Dundalk and third-placed Waterford United before recording a two-goal victory over Galway United on Friday night.

Shelbourne’s success so far in 2024 has been built on a rock-solid defensive foundation, with Damien Duff‘s troops conceding just 14 goals in 23 league fixtures and keeping five clean sheets in their last seven games, highlighting the great work of centre-back pairing Patrick Barrett and Kameron Ledwidge.

Ahead of Thursday night’s trip to the division’s basement boys, the Shels are sitting pretty at the summit of the League of Ireland table, two points ahead of second-placed Derry, who are also showing no signs of slowing down in the title race after winning four straight matches since the beginning of June.

Owing to their fourth-placed finish during the 2023 campaign, Shelbourne will compete in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Conference League next week, facing a two-legged affair with St Joseph’s of Gibraltar for a place in the second qualification stage.

Drogheda United League of Ireland Premier form:

Shelbourne League of Ireland Premier form:

Team News

After receiving his marching orders during the heavy defeat to Derry last time out, Pierrot will be unable to feature for Drogheda on Thursday night.

With a main source of goals unavailable, extra attacking burden will be placed on the young shoulders of Drogs forward Evan Weir, who has netted four times in 19 league fixtures in 2024.

Doherty’s side have a host of first-team stars currently nursing issues in the medical room, including Aaron McNally, Gary Deegan and American midfielder Steve Bawa.

Following a comfortable success over Galway, Shelbourne are likely to name an unchanged side, with Sean Gannon and Tyreke Wilson keeping their spots in the full-back roles.

Topping his team’s goalscoring and assist charts, Hull City loanee Will Jarvis is a shining light of the division and will continue on the left flank at Weavers Park.

Drogheda United possible starting lineup:
Wogan; Quinn, Heeney, Keaney, Kane; Brennan, O’Brien, Foley, Davis, Weir; Bosakani

Shelbourne possible starting lineup:
Kearns; Gannon, Barrett, Ledwidge, Wilson; Caffrey, Lunney, Burt, Smith, Jarvis; Martin

SM words green background

We say: Drogheda United 0-2 Shelbourne

With two sides at opposite ends of the league standings locking horns, we are expecting a one-sided affair at Weavers Park, with the hosts Drogheda in line for a difficult night.

If the game is given the respect it deserves, Shelbourne should comfortably be able to earn a fourth straight victory, coupled with another clean sheet.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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