League Preview: Galway United -v- Shamrock Rovers

Conor McCormack

Conor McCormack Credit: Paul Dolan (ETPhotos)


The Tribesmen are all set to face the League of Ireland Premier Division champions as Shamrock Rovers come to Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

United have a lot of positives coming into this game with seven points to their name as they enter a tough run, with the champions this week, followed by Derry City in two weeks.

In their last game, they played out a scoreless draw with Drogheda United – during the game they had two shots cleared off the line, although they will also consider themselves fortunate to have not had a penalty awarded against them when Conor McCormack looked to have handled the ball in the second half.

“We know Shamrock Rovers have great talent throughout their squad. They are serial winners,” captain Conor McCormack, and former Hoop, said in the build up to the game.

“They had a bit of a slow start, but they did that last year so it’s no problem to them. All the lads know what they have to do.”

In team news, United have no suspensions, with Stephen Walsh returning last week – although the striker failed to score it was his efforts that Drogheda United cleared off the line last Friday night.

On the injury front, Galway don’t tend to do clear updates, but Wassim Aouachria has still yet to feature in a match day squad and is unlikely to feature, similarly Garry Buckley came off injured on the first night of the season and hasn’t featured since.

Colm Horgan picked up an injury against Shelbourne a couple of weeks ago and didn’t feature in the match day squad for the game against Drogheda, Conor O’Keeffe took the defender’s place, and it remains to be seen if he will have a quick return.


Rovers come into Friday night’s game looking for their first win of the season, and the Hoops record against United bode well for the Dublin side.

The Premier Division champions have surprisingly gone their first four games of the season without a win although they are unbeaten in their last two matches.

Stephen Bradley’s side travelled to the Showgrounds last weekend to face Sligo Rovers and the side played out a scoreless draw.

There was a major talking point when Leon Pohls in the Hoops goal took Sligo’ Simon Power down when he was through towards goal, the goalkeeper wasn’t sent off for that offence.

Rovers now turn their attention to Galway United, while they’re not a side that look like they will score a lot, they haven’t conceded many goals so far and manager Stephen Bradley is expecting a tough game.

“We’re coming up against a manager who has won everything domestically and an assistant manager who’s been around the game a long time and who knows the league inside out,” Bradley said, speaking to the club’s media team.

“They are two people that I have a lot of respect for. John’s Cork team were a top team, one of the best in the country that we’ve seen, so I’ve nothing but respect for John.

“We know what we’re going to face tomorrow, we know what they’re very good at, so we have to respect what Galway are good at.

“So if we do that we’ll be ok. It’s a tough game but I feel we’re ready for it.”

In team news, Gary O’Neil is out with an infection having been left out of the team late last week. Aaron McEneff and Sean Kavanagh are both out, but Jack Byrne may be able to feature on Friday night.

Trevor Clarke has also returned from injury and is available for selection.

Referee: Paul McLaughlin


Galway United have lost the last 20 meetings with Shamrock Rovers.

The Tribesmen last beat Rovers in 2006 when both sides were in the First Division.

The side have met twice in the FAI Cup over the past few years, but their last league meeting was in 2017, a 2-1 loss for Galway at Eamonn Deacy Park.


Galway United 27/10; Draw 11/5; Shamrock Rovers EVS.


Galway United 0–1 Shamrock Rovers

Galway United

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Wassim Aouachria, Colm Horgan, Garry Buckley.

Suspended: None.

Shamrock Rovers

Injured: Gary O’Neil, Aaron McEneff, Sean Kavanagh.

Doubtful: Jack Byrne.

Suspended: None.