League Preview: Shelbourne -v- St Patrick’s Athletic


Shelbourne boss Damien Duff hopes his side can thrive in a ‘cup final’ when they take on St Pat’s at Tolka Park on Friday night (kick-off is at 7.45pm).

Shels are just four points behind fourth-placed Bohemians and can close the gap on the Gypsies if they win and Bohs lose against Shamrock Rovers on the same night.

But they will have to do it without the services of Sean Boyd and Kameron Ledwidge who are ruled out of Friday’s game through injury.

“There is a cup final feel and the pressure that comes with that but like I’ve told the guys for a few weeks, it’s a good pressure to have, that’s what we crave, why we get involved in elite football,” Duff said. 

“Pushing for Europe is totally different to the pressure of a relegation battle or just playing games behind one of the mid table teams.

“Where we are now gives you added focus and gets the juice flowing. It’s why we’re hooked on football.” 


St Pat’s boss John Daly is expecting a stiff test for his Saints against Shelbourne at Tolka Park on Friday night.

The Saints have had the upper hand over the Reds in each of the games – winning 1-0 in them all.

But they have not scored from play against Shels yet and remain without injured duo Axel Sjoberg and Tom Grivosti.

“It's a big game against Shelbourne and one we are looking forward to,” boss Daly said.

“We have two well-matched teams. They've got some very good players in their team that can cause you problems and they have caused us problems this season.

“We scored our three goals from three set plays so it shows you the importance of them and what they can do for you. Shelbourne are very well organised.

“Damien Duff has them well-drilled and playing good football. It's up to us to put in a performance that merits the three points.”

Referee: Neil Doyle.



Shelbourne have beaten St Patrick’s Athletic just twice at home since 2006. Their last win over the Saints at Tolka Park came in 2020 under former boss Ian Morris with Jaze Kabia heading home a winner. Shels went on to get relegated that season.

Jon Daly’s Saints have the second-best attacking record in the Premier Division this season with 50 goals scored in 28 games. But they are playing the team with the best defensive record in the top-flight this season, with Shels only conceding 19 goals during the same number of fixtures.

St Pat’s have picked up 11 points from their last five league games – which is the best in the Premier Division. They have also scored 11 goals in that time and have conceded just once. Shels have picked up nine points during that same period of games.


Shelbourne 1-0 St Patrick’s Athletic



Injured: Sean Boyd, Kameron Ledwidge.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.


St Patrick’s Athletic

Injured: Tom Grivosti, Axel Sjoberg.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.