League Preview: Shamrock Rovers -v- Shelbourne

Graham Burke of Shamrock Rovers exchanges words with Kameron Ledwidge during Rovers' 2-0 win over Shels last May

Graham Burke of Shamrock Rovers exchanges words with Kameron Ledwidge during Rovers' 2-0 win over Shels last May Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick (ETPhotos)


The Hoops will be looking to make it four wins in a row as they host Shelbourne in Tallaght Stadium this Friday with kick-off at 7.45pm.

After a slow start to the season, going seven game before winning their first mathc, Stephen Bradley’s side have hit form and racked up victories against Dundalk, Bohemian FC and most recently UCD on Monday.

A win over Shels would see the champions move ahead of rivals Derry City in the table for at least a few days.

The Candystripes must now wait until Sunday to face Dundalk in Oriel Park, a fixture rearranged to accommodate the visit of US president Joe Biden to the town. 

Speaking to shamrockrovers.ie the Rovers boss said about the previous week:“We were pleased because it’s always difficult, the Friday-Monday games.

“We’ve obviously gone from a Dublin Derby and everything that surrounds that to a Monday night and UCD, and it can be very easy to take your eye off the ball, but I thought the players dealt with that really well.”


Shelbourne sit fifth in the table on 12 points after the first round of fixtures following a 2-1 victory over Sligo Rovers on Monday evening in Tolka Park.

The Reds were helped on the night by a somewhat fortuities OG scored by Sligo defender John Mahon.

A win for Duff’s men in Tallaght would see them leapfrog Shamrock Rovers in the table but they have yet to win a Premier Division game in Tallaght – their last away league win against the Hoops was in September 2005.

Monday’s win followed on from a surprise scoreless draw away to UCD the previous Friday. A result which disappointed boss Damien Duff so much he said he refused to speak to his players at full time.

He did speak with shelbournefc.ie about the challenge they face in Tallaght: “Last season they were very tight games (against Rovers). Credit to the guys, we played them five times, first few games we lacked belief you’d say.

“Obviously it’s a team coming up from the First Division and it can be hard to instil the confidence early on, but over the games last season and the one already this year, we’ve seen that confidence and belief grow in our lads. We’ve seen the performances get better too.

“The lads need to get the monkey off the back. There are only two teams we haven’t beaten since we came back up, Dundalk and Rovers. There is no better time than tomorrow. I said it this morning, I think they’re ready to do it and end that wait.”

“Our lads will be highly motivated, they’ll need to play with calm and confidence, they are good enough to go there and win, I firmly believe that they’re good enough, they need to believe it too.”

Referee Neil Doyle



This is a matchup between the league’s top scorers, Shamrock Rovers - 14 goals scored and the league’s joint best defense, Shelbourne – 5 goals conceded.

The underlying numbers back that up with Shamrock Rovers currently topping the xG scored table with 17.83, While Shelbourne top the xGA table with 7.4 after nine games played.

Since Duff has taken over as manager Shels have held Rovers to a draw on two occasions in Tolka Park but have lost both fixtures in Tallaght. The last time the two played in South Dublin Rory Gaffney’s 94th minute winner gave the Hoops a 3-2 victory.

No Shelbourne player has scored more than once this season in the Premier Division.    



Home 1/2, Draw 14/5, Away 5/1


2-0 home win


Shamrock Rovers

Injured: Simon Power, Sean Gannon, Liam Burt

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.


Injured: Sean Boyd, Conor Kane, Mark Coyle, Gavin Molloy

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.


Additional reporting by Macdara Ferris