- Thursday June 22nd, 2023 @ 15:40
Preview: Saints Vs Shels (23/06/23)
St Patrick's Athletic return to League of Ireland action on Friday night as they welcome Shelbourne to Richmond Park for a Dublin Derby.
It's the start of a busy few weeks for The Saints, with four league games to come in the next two weeks, plus the beginning of their 2023 UEFA Europa Conference League campaign and an FAI Cup first round tie away to Longford Town later in July mixed in with plenty more league action.
St Pat's will be looking to re-discover their excellent form which saw them win six games out of their last eight before the mid-season break.
Jon Daly's men will be aiming to get back to winning ways after their last minute defeat to Drogheda United last time out, Adam Foley had given Drogs the lead before Chris Forrester's penalty levelled things up, but former St Pat's man Darragh Markey won it for the home side in the 94th minute with the last kick of the game.
Pat's begin the second half of the campaign in third place in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, they are seven points behind leaders Shamrock Rovers and just a point adrift of Derry City who are second.
Shelbourne are sixth, five points behind tomorrow's opponents but with a game in hand.
Home tickets for this game are close to selling out with less than 250 remaining at the time of writing.
The Main Stand is totally sold out, with only a handful of tickets left for the Patron Stand and around 200 for the Camac.
We expect home tickets to be sold out before kick-off and advise all home fans to get their tickets online HERE to avoid disappointment.
For those not in attendance, you can join Oisin Langan and Keith Treacy on LOITV, their coverage will begin at 7.30pm.
Head To Head
These sides have faced off twice already this season, with the Inchicore side winning both matches 1-0.
Eoin Doyle netted the winner at Richmond Park back in February in the second game of the season before Sam Curtis' first ever senior goal sealed the points at Tolka Park just over a month ago.
Shelbourne's last outing was a 1-1 draw with Sligo Rovers.
Damien Duff's squad has plenty of familiar faces around Inchicore, with Conor Kearns, Conor Kane, Paddy Barrett, Shane Griffin, JJ Lunney, Kian Leavy, Kyle Robinson and Matty Smith all formally of this parish, that's eight former Saints who could line out for Shelbourne tomorrow evening, in what will be the 145th league meeting of these famous clubs.
"It's another big game" - Daly:
Manager Jon Daly can't wait to get back to action:
"The players have come back from their little break in good spirits, we were disappointed with where we left off against Drogheda before the break, but they've been back in the last few days and have trained well and we're looking forward to getting back into it on Friday.
It's a big game as have both matches we've already played Shels in this season, there have been good crowds at both and we're looking forward to it, we're hoping for a similar outcome to what we've had in the games so far but we'll need to work very hard and play well to get that.
Shelbourne are a very dogged team, they defend well, are compact and don't give much away, it's important that we are patient in our player and that we attack when we get the opportunities as well as being mindful of their attacking threat too.
We need to get back to the hard work we showed before the break and make sure that we give everything on the pitch."
Watch Jon's full interview on our Youtube.
Anto Breslin has played every minute of every League of Ireland Premier Division match this season, the 26-year-old is the only outfield player to have done so and he's looking forward to getting back out on the pitch tomorrow night:
"We didn't play well against Drogheda and we know that, we had won 6 out of 7 games before that which was good so hopefully we can get going again in what will be a difficult game.
Shels is always a tough game as has been shown in both games this season, we won 1-0 in both but they were very tight.
Damien Duff has them well drilled, they are very well set up and are hard to break down, it's always a tight game, we know what we have to do to try to get the three points.
We'll have to really be on our game and show good quality to try to win the game in front of another big home crowd and hopefully we can do that."
You can also watch Anto's full interview on our YouTube as well as our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Jake Mulraney returns from suspension but Captain Joe Redmond (hamstring) and Tom Grivosti (knee ACL) are still on the long-term injury list.
Image credit: Inpho Sports
Be sure to visit the St Pat's store and check out our Umbro League of Ireland merchandise.