Two of the three clubs newly promoted to the Premier Division square off with Shels hoping to bounce back from last week’s late reverse to Cork.
The Dublin outfit will be confident of earning the three points as the Mons are three points adrift at the bottom of the table having mustered just five points from nine starts all season. Their form has been erratic at best; having beaten Bohs away two weeks ago, Roddy Collins’ men then slumped to defeat at home to Bray last week so punters couldn’t back the basement boys with any confidence.
Shelbourne are 8/13 to win at home which is a good bet and look even more of a banker than Cork to beat Dundalk. They should have too much at home for a Monaghan side who are 9/2 to pull off an upset with the draw at 5/2.
A double of Shels and Cork might be a good idea for punters who might even want to chance a brave treble with Derry to pip Pat’s, though the latter is definitely the result that will likely leave punters sweating.
SHELBOURNE TEAM NEWS: Lorcan Fitzgerald and Stephen Hurley are long term injury concerns while Kevin Dawson is available having passed a fitness test on Wednesday night. Stephen Paisley returns following last week’s suspension.
MONAGHAN UNITED TEAM NEWS: Goalkeeper Chris Bennion is suspended and so is Keith Quinn. Garreth O’ Connor is injured. Paul Whelan is doubtful and faces a fitness test shortly before kick off.
Both managers have spoken of their respective clubs’ struggles with adjusting to the step up in quality which the Premier Division provides. Shelbourne have certainly adjusted better than this week’s visitors with home boss Alan Mathews stating: “Monaghan, like ourselves, are getting used to the demands of the Premier Division and have some very good players at the club. We are going to have to produce a really top class performance to achieve the three points on offer, but I firmly believe that we have the players to take on any side this season – and go into this game full of confidence.”
Monaghan manager Roddy Collins was, as ever outspoken on the eve of the match barking: “ I was extremely disappointed with both the result and overall performances against Bray Wanderers. This week we are in Tolka Park, a venue that I like going to. It was a very successful ground for me as a manager and continued right up to last season when we won both games there. Shelbourne have done well since promotion to the Premier.”