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League of Ireland Premier | Gameweek 24
Jul 12, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
Eamonn Deacy Park

Galway United
1 - 0

Hickey (23')
McCormack (39'), Nugent (53'), Hickey (53'), Nugent (68')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Radkowski (33'), Horton (36'), Parsons (45+2')

Preview: Galway United vs. Waterford United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's League of Ireland Premier clash between Galway United and Waterford United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Galway United and Waterford United come together at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday in a potentially crucial game in the battle for the top three spots in the League of Ireland Premier.

The visitors are currently in third place with just a three-point lead over the chasing pack, while the hosts could narrow the gap to the top three to only three points with a victory in this match.

Match preview

Newly-promoted Galway United have been one of the biggest surprise packages in the League of Ireland Premier so far this campaign, still fighting for a place in the top three with less than half the season still to play.

A slight dip in form in recent weeks has seen them slowly slip further away from the coveted European places, but John Caulfield's men remain in the battle to finish third and hold potentially vital games in hand on those above them.

Victory in their game in hand over the fourth and third-placed sides would see them move to within three points of the top three, while a win against Waterford on Friday would also narrow the gap to just three points.

The Tribesman hold the second-best defensive record in the division, conceding just one more goal than league-leaders Shelbourne's 15, but just 18 goals scored, the second-fewest in the league, has been the main problem for Caulfield's men.

While they have been at their best away from home this year, their home form has seen massive improvements in the past weeks as they come into this game unbeaten in their last six matches at Eamonn Deacy Park, taking three wins and three draws.

Similarly to the hosts, Waterford have been one of the surprise packages of the season having been promoted alongside Galway United last season, and although they finished a massive 25 points behind Caulfield's side, they currently lead them by six points this time around.

A difficult start to the season for Waterford saw them manage just three wins in their opening 12 league matches, losing five in that time, but a run of eight wins in 11 games since then has seen them rapidly ascend the table.

Keith Long's men have played at least a game fewer than the two teams above them and could move to within one point of second-placed Derry City if they win their two games in hand, but Long will also be keeping an eye on those below them as they hold just a three-point lead over fourth-placed Shamrock Rovers.

The visitors have been the second best-performing side on the road this campaign, taking 17 points from 11 away fixtures thanks to five wins and two draws, but they have won in one of the last nine visits to this stadium.

Galway United League of Ireland Premier form:

Waterford United League of Ireland Premier form:

Team News

Galway United come into this game with a full squad to choose from having avoided any fresh injury concerns in recent weeks, while Aodh Dervin will also be available for selection again having served his suspension last time out.

Caulfield could opt to start Bobby Burns on the left side of a back four given Conor O'Keeffe was taken off at half-time after giving away the penalty in the 1-1 draw with Bohemians last week.

As for Waterford, they could be without both Maleace Asamoah, who is not expected to return to the side for several weeks, and Rowan McDonald, who was forced off in the 83rd minute of their last match.

Elsewhere, Long may decide to name the same starting side that earned a hard-fought 1-0 win against St Patrick's Athletic last Thursday.

Galway United possible starting lineup:
Clarke; Esua, Slevin, Brouder, Burns; Buckley, Nugent; Hickey, McCarthy, Keohane; Walsh

Waterford United possible starting lineup:
Sargeant; Power, Horton, Radkowski, Leahy; Pattison, O'Keeffe, McMenamy, Parsons; McCormack; Amond

SM words green background

We say: Galway United 0-1 Waterford United

While Galway United have been vastly improved at home in recent weeks and are one of the hardest sides to score against in the division, Waterford United come into this game in a great vein of form and are the second-best side away from home this season, leading us to believe the visitors will secure the victory.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Read Next:
Friday's League of Ireland Premier predictions including Shelbourne vs. Galway
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