FAI National League Cup


Neither side is expected to be at full strength for a match they might concede they could both do without, this of all weeks. Both are hit by suspensions and injury. Dundalk midfielder Paul Carlyle continues his ban while Shelbourne's Pat Fenlon uses up the one-match suspension received for his sending off against Derry recently.

On the injury front, Peter Withnell is unlikely to feature in the Dundalk attack as he recovers from the calf strain he aggravated in the Bohemians match last Sunday week, while Shelbourne's top scorer Stephen Geoghegan is virtually certain to be rested after the heavy knock he took from Stuart Gauld on Friday night, which resulted in a red card for the Finn Harps defender.

Dessie Baker, who played a starring role in Shelbourne's fight back from 2-0 down against Harps, shipped a heavy knock and is also doubtful as is Davy Campbell. And just to compound matters, recent signing Liam Kelly is cup-tied, leaving manager Damien Richardson with a big problem in attack. Pascal Vaudequin, Dave Smith and Dean Fitzgerald may all start.

Dundalk manager Jim McLaughlin has added David Ward, Derek Delaney and Brian McCrystal, an under-16 international panellist, to his squad.

Last two seasons: 1996/97: Shelbourne 2 Dundalk 1, Dundalk 0 Shelbourne 1, Shelbourne 4 Dundalk 2 (FAI Cup), Shelbourne 0 Dundalk 1. 97/98: Dundalk 0 Shelbourne 1, Shelbourne 2 Dundalk 0, Dundalk 0 Shelbourne 1 (League Cup).

Recent form: Shelbourne - WWWLW Dundalk - WWWLD.

Leading scorers: Shelbourne - S Geoghegan (11); Dundalk - Byrne (10, five in League Cup).

Betting: 4/6 Shelbourne, 4/1 Dundalk, 9/4 draw.

Referee: J Stacey (Athlone).