Preview: Shelbourne vs. Drogheda United

Preview: Shelbourne vs. Drogheda United

Both teams will be looking to return to winning ways in the Irish Premier Division when Shelbourne host Drogheda United on Monday.

Shelbourne have drawn each of their last two matches, while Drogheda were defeated by Cork City last time out.

Having dominated the Irish Premier Division during the early 2000s – winning five titles across eight seasons – Shelbourne have found themselves bouncing between the top two tiers since being relegated due to financial irregularities in the aftermath of their most recent Premier Division title triumph in 2006.

However, following their fourth promotion in 11 years, former Chelsea winger Damien Duff stabilised The Auld Reds in the form of a seventh-placed finish last time out, ultimately finishing 15 points clear of the relegation zone.

Duff appears to have a major problem to solve across the coming weeks, though, with his side failing to score in each of their last three outings. Admittedly, they have played out successive goalless draws against Bohemians and Derry City, having lost 1-0 at home to St Patrick’s Athletic in their previous game.

Clearly, defensive solidity is Shelbourne’s priority, with only 27 goals scored at both ends across their 18 league games so far this season. The 44-year-old may be hoping to see his players cut loose a little more against a team ranked beneath them in the table on Monday.

Indeed, Drogheda missed a major opportunity to put considerable distance between themselves and the drop zone when facing Cork at home on Friday, but the visitors ran out 1-0 winners courtesy of Tunde Owolabi’s crucial strike just before the hour mark.

Victory would have moved Drogheda eight points clear of Cork, who remain second-bottom in the table, but instead their most recent opponents are now just two points behind them.

That could spell bad news for the likes of Sligo Rovers, Dundalk and Shelbourne, too, who could all find themselves concerned about the prospect of relegation should their form not improve within the next month or two.

As such, Monday’s meeting between these two sides is a bigger game than it may appear on the surface, with Drogheda hoping to quickly pick themselves back up after their undoubted disappointment last time out.

Shelbourne League of Ireland Premier form:

Drogheda United League of Ireland Premier form:

We say: Shelbourne 0-0 Drogheda United
After suffering a bitter defeat last time out, we would not be surprised if Drogheda rock up at Shelbourne with the mentality of avoiding a second successive loss first and foremost.

Shelbourne are clearly struggling to create chances having failed to score in each of their last three games, so another goalless draw could be on the cards for Duff’s side.

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