Shamrock Rovers will hope to pick up another three points in their staggered title defence when UCD visit Tallaght Stadium this Friday.
Rovers’ 1-0 win over rivals Bohemians last Friday was their first win in Dalymount in over four years but manager Michael O’Neill will be looking for a more routine win over the struggling UCD.
Rovers beat UCD 6-1 at Belfield last time out and 3-1 on the Student’s last visit to Tallaght but O’Neill warned that his side must maintain concentration as they ready themselves for the arrival of Partizan Belgrade next Thursday in the Europa League qualifiers.
“We want to continue getting wins and gathering points in the league”, the Northern Ireland man said.
“Europe comes back around for us again, but we want to have ourselves in the position that if we win our game in hand, we’re three clear at the top. So we need to win on Friday to do that.”
UCD shocked St. Pat’s last Sunday when they came back from two goals at half time to draw a frantic and chaotic game in Richmond Park.
Martin Russell will point to his side’s determination to fight back but it should also be noted that UCD dominated the first half and were very unlucky to behind at the break.
UCD have been exposed regularly this season by their adherence to an open and attacking game plan but when they are firing they can cause trouble for any side in the league.
Graham Rusk, who scored Sunday’s equaliser, was a threat throughout and will be relishing the opportunity to test himself against he Rovers back line.
Rovers will be without Ken Oman and Stephen O’Donnell who are nursing injuries, Ronan Finn is doubtful while Karl Sheppard returns to the squad after a lengthy lay off.
Chris Turner remains suspended.
UCD will be without Darren Meehan who was handed one of three red cards doled out in the game against St. Pats.
Shamrock Rovers – DLWLWW
UCD – LWLDLLD
Shamrock Rovers – Gary Twigg, 12
UCD – Graham Rusk, 7