UCD entertain Dundalk on Friday evening at the Belfield Bowl, kick off at 7.45pm.
Both sides have nothing but pride to play for as 8thplaced UCD host Ian Foster’s Lilywhites. Nonetheless it could be a cracking game, with both of these teams preferring to attack. UCD stunned Bohs last Monday with a 2-0 victory and Martin Russell’s men will be looking to finish the season off strongly.
As for the Oriel Park outfit, it seems as though these last few games will be Foster’s last in charge of the Louth side. He is unlikely to be given a new contract and his time at Dundalk is coming to an end. He will be hoping to leave with a bang and a few wins would leave the Dundalk faithful feeling good as we enter the Winter break.
As mentioned, UCD put in one of their best performances of the season last Monday to defeat Bohs and all but end their title challenge and in a string of games which sees the Students face three of the four title hopefuls, Martin Russell will be pleased he will come up against a side who are in the same situation as his UCD outfit.
In terms of team news, UCD will be missing some regulars thanks to injury. Ciaran Nangle, Sean Harding and Robbie Benson are all out and keeper Ger Barron is doubtful.
Speaking after the victory on Monday, Russell admitted these games give him the perfect opportunity to blood new talent into his side and prepare for next season. Stephen Doyle, Hugh Douglas and Chris Lyons have all made the breakthrough in recent games and have impressed.
The visitors will be without 6 players as they attempt to beat UCD for the third time this season. Strikers Mark Quigley and Mark Griffin are both unavailable.
Quigley has scored 21 goals this season but he misses out through suspension while Griffin has a groin injury. The goal scoring duo joins Osbourne, Hawkins, Jason Byrne and Stephen Maher in the absentee column for Ian Foster.
It’s hard to see past a home win considering UCD’s young stars are constantly looking to impress and perform. Dundalk will travel to the capital knowing nothing but pride is on the line and it will be hard to gear themselves up for a tough test especially after what has been a long season.
Prediction: UCD 2-0 Dundalk