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League of Ireland Premier | Gameweek 21
Jun 13, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
Waterford Regional Sports Centre

0 - 1

McMenamy (35'), McCormack (61'), Horton (73'), Lunney (76'), Leahy (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Jarvis (55')
O'Keeffe (73'), Coyle (81'), Kearns (84'), Leahy (84')

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

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

Waterford United host league leaders Shelbourne at the Waterford Regional Sports Centre on Wednesday evening in a battle between the two most in-form teams in the League of Ireland Premier division.

The home side are fourth in the league with 12 points from their last six games, the second most in the division, while the visitors are in first place with 13 from their last six.

Match preview

Damien Duff pictured in 2019© Reuters

Waterford's first season back in the Irish top flight after a two-year stint in the First Division has so far exceeded even the most optimistic fans' expectations with the team currently fighting for a place within the top three.

Keith Long's men did initially struggle in the opening matches picking up just three wins in their first 12, leaving them in eighth, but the recent surge up the table now sees them joint on points with third-place Shamrock Rovers after 20 fixtures.

A fantastic run of six wins in their last eight matches sees them come into this game against the league leaders as one of the most in-form teams in the division, while their form over the last six league outings is the second-best in the league, only behind Wednesday's opponents.

Waterford have been marginally better when playing at home this campaign, amassing 17 of their 31 points in front of their own crowd, but the last time they beat Shelbourne at home was in the First Division in May 2017.

The visitors, on the other hand, have been at their best when on the road this season with 19 points from their 10 away games, the most of any side in the division, while they have only lost to Galway United on their travels so far.

Shelbourne's rise up the Premier Division has also been a welcome surprise to their supporters, recording seventh and fourth-place finishes since returning to the league in 2022, and they now sit at the peak of the league table after 21 matches.

Damien Duff's team started the campaign with a phenomenal run of nine games without defeat, six of those being victories, before losing two consecutive games midway through April.

Shelbourne quickly bounced back though, embarking on a stretch of eight matches without defeat before eventually falling to a 2-1 loss to Sligo Rovers, but once again Duff's side returned to winning ways in their last outing against Dundalk FC.

The visitors will be hoping that win last time out will be the beginning of another run of matches without defeat, but a tough task against the in-form Waterford will certainly give them a challenge.

Waterford United League of Ireland Premier form:

Shelbourne League of Ireland Premier form:

Team News

Waterford are expected to be without no fewer than three players for this encounter against the league leaders due to injuries.

Cameron Cresswell's stay on the sidelines is set to continue due to a hip injury that has kept him out of the side since the end of March.

Harvey Macadam and Maleace Asamoah will also remain unavailable for this one but both are expected to return later this month.

Midfielder John O'Sullivan is set to be the only absentee for the visitors after picking up his fifth yellow card of the campaign just 13 minutes after entering the pitch in their last game.

Elsewhere, Will Jarvis is coming into this game in fantastic form with seven goals and is expected to play a key part again here.

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

Shelbourne possible starting lineup:
Kearns; Gannon, Barrett, Molloy, Wilson; Caffrey, Coyle, Lunney, Jarvis; Smith, Martin

SM words green background

We say: Waterford United 1-2 Shelbourne

Waterford may be coming into this one as one of the most in-form sides in the division, but Shelbourne's away record this season is the best of any side in the league, and we expect the visitors to come away with the victory again here.

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

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Friday's League of Ireland Premier predictions including Shelbourne vs. Dundalk
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