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Jul 8, 2022 at 7.45pm UK at Tolka Park
Shelbourne
3 - 1
Finn Harps
Molloy (14', 38'), Moylan (75')
Boyd (56')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Boyle (19')
Duncan (42'), Mihaljevic (67'), Rudden (90+3')

Preview: Shelbourne vs. Finn Harps - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Shelbourne vs. Finn Harps - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's League of Ireland Premier clash between Shelbourne and Finn Harps, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two teams fighting in the bottom half of the League of Ireland Premier Division will square off on Friday, as Shelbourne entertain Finn Harps.

After another defeat last time out, the visitors remain in the relegation playoff place, 10 points adrift of guaranteed safety, while their hosts have dropped to seventh spot after a tough run of their own.


Match preview

After a tough start to the Irish top-flight season, Shelbourne enjoyed an eye-catching upturn in form in May, as consecutive wins over Sligo Rovers, Drogheda United, St Patrick's Athletic and University College Dublin put them in a strong position in the fight for a top-five finish.

That saw Shels move onto 24 points from the opening 17 outings, but they have since hit a tough spell, firstly losing back to-back games at the hands of Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians after their four triumphs.

Damien Duff's men then forced a commendable draw at home to high-flying Dundalk, as the game remained goalless, before they made the trip to Sligo Rovers last time out hoping to make a return to winning ways.

Shelbourne were unsuccessful in that aim, as they were eventually beaten 3-1 with Brian McManus's opener quickly cancelled out by Max Mata, before Aidan Keena put the hosts ahead in the first half and sealed all three points with his second of the game in the dying embers.

Having now dropped to seventh in the Premier Division, 13 points above their opponents with 15 league games left to play, Duff's men will now be keen to turn around their form and avoid being dragged within an uncomfortable distance of the bottom two.

They take on a Finn Harps side looking to keep their hopes alive of jumping out of the relegation places, having now seemingly been cut adrift in the bottom two.

The visitors have had to endure a particularly tough campaign in the Irish top flight, winning just two of their opening 21 games.

The latest of those came in late April, as Ollie Horgan's side got the better of Friday's opponents on home turf thanks to Barry McNamee's winner in the dying embers, but they have since added just two more points to their tally in eight further league outings.

The triumph was firstly followed by four straight defeats, before the Harps were, at least, able to post two draws across a three-game span, sharing points with Derry City and St Patrick's Athletic ahead of their home contest against league leaders Shamrock Rovers last time out.

While Horgan's men did perform commendably to keep the game tight, Rory Gaffney's goal on the stroke of half time was enough to see the visitors leave with all three points and condemn Finn Harps to a 13th league defeat of the season, and, now 10 points adrift of safety, they will know they need a dramatic turnaround to stand a chance of jumping out of the bottom two.

Shelbourne League of Ireland Premier form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

Finn Harps League of Ireland Premier form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L


Team News

Shelbourne will likely call back on striker Sean Boyd, who leads the way for goals with six in 18 league appearances this season, after he was reduced to a substitute appearance last time out.

Young midfielder Brian McManus will be another threat going forward, having added to his tally in their eventual defeat last time out.

Duff is likely to stick with the back three of Aaron O'Driscoll, Luke Byrne and Shane Griffin, with John Ross Wilson and Conor Kane operating as attacking full-backs.

After running Shamrock Rovers close last week, Finn Harps are unlikely to make many changes for Friday's game, with Conor Tourish, Rob Slevin, Jose Carrillo and Regan Donelon again set to form the back four.

Filip Mihaljevic should continue to lead the line with support from Eric McWoods, with each having scored three league goals so far this campaign.

Shelbourne possible starting lineup:
Clarke; Wilson, O'Driscoll, Byrne, Griffin, Kane; Molloy, McManus, Lunney; Boyd, Farrell

Finn Harps possible starting lineup:
Mulreany; Tourish, Slevin, Carrillo, Donelon; N'Zeyi, Hery, Connolly; McNamee, Mihaljevic, McWoods


We say: Shelbourne 1-1 Finn Harps

Finn Harps have struggled for form and confidence throughout the season, but they will see Friday as a good chance to pick up vital points against another side lacking momentum.

While we do not see the ninth-placed side leaving with a victory, they should have enough to force a share of the spoils.

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



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