Shels hoping Drogheda suffer Europa hangover
DROGHEDA UNITED will have to negotiate a tricky Premier Division game with relegation battlers Shelbourne tomorrow as they bid to put next week's Europa League tie with Malmo out of their minds.
The Boynesiders would earn €250,000 and a lucrative tie with Scottish side Hibernian if they can build on the scoreless draw in Thursday's tie in Tallaght and deliver a result in Sweden.
Manager Mick Cooke suggested he would try to get the Shels game postponed but his attempts failed.
Shels boss Johnny McDonnell can see why Drogheda's European situation could benefit his charges.
"The focus could be on Malmo," he said, "but they're in that zone that comes from being sharp from European matches."
Drogheda's Alan Byrne feels they have a real chance to go further if they can set up a clash with Hibs. "I'd fancy our chances if we can get past Malmo." said Byrne.
Drogheda United v Shelbourne
(Hunky Dorys Park, 3.0)
League form: Drogheda LLLLL, Shels LLLWL
Match odds: Drogheda 4/6, Shels 4/1, Draw 13/5
Referee: D McKeon (Dublin)
Team news: Ryan Brennan's red card against Malmo means that he will probably play some part for Drogheda, who have Philly Hand coming back. Shelbourne are hoping to have new signing Derek Doyle registered, while they are also looking to tie up a deal for Brian Gartland. Paul Crowley and Dean Kelly miss out.
Talking point: How much will the effort exerted against Malmo FF on Thursday take out of Drogheda and can Shelbourne take advantage of Drogs' eye potentially being on the second leg?
Verdict: Away win.