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Shamrock Rovers
League of Ireland Premier | Gameweek 20
Jun 9, 2023 at 8pm UK
Tallaght Stadium
University College Dublin
4 - 0
O'Brien (15' og.), Byrne (26'), Burke (43'), Cruise (56')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Preview: Shamrock Rovers vs. University College Dublin - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's League of Ireland Premier clash between Shamrock Rovers and University College Dublin, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Shamrock Rovers will attempt to strengthen their lead at the top of the League of Ireland Premier Division when they play host to University College Dublin on Friday night.

Top will be meeting bottom in the standings with the visitors already as many as 14 points adrift of a relegation playoff place.

Match preview

Having recently put together a 13-match undefeated streak, it appeared that Shamrock Rovers may eventually canter to the league title, that period also including a run of nine wins in 10 outings.

However, the defending champions have realised that complacency cannot set in, with defeats to Drogheda United and Cork City following in quick succession.

The Hoops have since responded with victories and clean sheets against Dundalk and Sligo Rovers, yet they now sit just four points clear of the chasing pack.

Fortunately for Stephen Bradley's side, their nearest rivals have struggled for consistency, and the perception is that they effectively have a free pass to at least maintain their lead in first position.

In the previous two meetings with UCD during the 2023 campaign, Shamrock have recorded wins in each fixture, scored five goals and kept two clean sheets in the process.

There was a period in April when UCD looked like they were building some momentum, accumulating five points from as many matches to give themselves some hope.

Since then, Andrew Myler's side have lost seven games in succession, shipping as many as 20 goals during that period to leave relegation already a near certainty barring a miracle revival.

With 17 encounters still remaining, it would be unfair to completely write off UCD, yet this is a side who have netted just 11 times in 20 contests.

While at least three goals have been conceded in their last four fixtures, the solitary positive is that one strike has been netted at the other end.

Shamrock Rovers League of Ireland Premier form:

University College Dublin League of Ireland Premier form:

Team News

Bradley will be torn between attempting to show a ruthless streak against the division's minnows and potentially resting a number of players.

That said, he was able to do that during the second half at Sligo, and Shamrock players such as Sean Kavanagh and Darragh Nugent may be given opportunities in a five-man midfield over changes being made in attack.

There is also scope for Sean Hoare being drafted into the back three, possibly as an alternative to Lee Grace.

UCD were forced into an early change last time out when Ciaran Behan was withdrawn through injury after just eight minutes.

While Danu Kinsella Bishop, a forward rather than central midfielder, was introduced on that occasion, Dara Keane could be recalled instead in what may prove to be the only change unless Myler tinkers with his backline.

Shamrock Rovers possible starting lineup:
Pohls; Lopes, Cleary, Grace; Gannon, Poom, Byrne, Nugent, Ferguson; Gaffney, Kenny

University College Dublin possible starting lineup:
Moore; Gallagher, O'Brien, Wells, Keaney, Osam; Nolan, Barr, Keane, Norris; Doyle

SM words green background

We say: Shamrock Rovers 4-0 University College Dublin

Although Shamrock have slipped up on a couple of occasions of late, this should be a breeze for the home side. The visitors have not conceded fewer than three goals in their recent matches, and we expect that unwanted streak to continue here.

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

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
1Shamrock RoversShamrock362012467274072
2Derry CityDerry361811757243365
3St Patrick's AthleticSt Patrick's361951259421762
7Drogheda UnitedDrogheda361011154054-1441
8Sligo RoversSligo36107193651-1537
9Cork City3687213564-2931
10University College DublinUCD3625291996-7711

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