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League Preview: Shelbourne vs. Dundalk

League Preview: Shelbourne vs. Dundalk

Dundalk boss Jon Daly believes his side still has plenty to give as they prepare to face Shelbourne at Tolka Park.

The Lilywhites had a solid performance last weekend, earning four points from a possible six. They held Derry City to a 0-0 draw and secured a thrilling 3-2 victory over St Patrick’s Athletic on Monday.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I genuinely wouldn’t have taken the job if I didn’t feel there was quality in the group,” Daly remarked. “I didn’t know the players before I took the job, but getting to know them, I can say the characters in the changing room are fantastic.

“They’re certainly not a team that should be where they are, but they are. They’re there because they haven’t got results and it’s important now that we try to back Monday’s win up on Friday away to Shels, who are a really good side. We need to try to get something there too.

“We have a fantastic defensive record at home, seven clean sheets in a row, so it’s about bringing that mentality when we go away from home.”

Shelbourne will be eager to bounce back after a surprising defeat to a lower-ranked team last weekend. They face a Dundalk side currently sitting second from bottom, but with a new manager boost clearly lifting Dundalk, Damien Duff will be cautious of complacency as they clash at Tolka Park on Friday night, with a 7.45 pm kickoff.

Last Friday, Shelbourne were upset by Sligo Rovers, who were eighth in the league table, with a deserved 2-1 victory over the league leaders. Shelbourne equalized through Sean Boyd in the 57th minute after conceding in the 22nd minute, but a 69th-minute goal by Sligo sealed the defeat for Shels.

Despite this setback, Shelbourne retains the top spot in the league with a game in hand over their closest rivals, Derry City, who trail by two points. Historically, matches between Shelbourne and Dundalk have been tightly contested, with five draws in their last eight meetings. Shelbourne did, however, win two of the remaining three matches, including a 2-1 victory in their first meeting this season at Tolka Park in late March.

In that match, goals from Liam Burt and an own goal by Hayden Muller secured the win for Shelbourne, with Robbie Benson scoring a late consolation goal for Dundalk. Their most recent encounter ended in a 0-0 draw at Oriel Park.

Both teams will be looking to secure vital points in this fixture. Dundalk aims to build on their recent performances under Jon Daly, while Shelbourne seeks to maintain their lead at the top of the table and avoid any further slip-ups.

Stay tuned for what promises to be an exciting match at Tolka Park!

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