St. Patrick’s Athletic will look to make it four wins in a row as they face reigning champions Dundalk who lost their first game of the season at home to Cork City last week.
Liam Buckley’s side lost their first game of the season 3-1 to Galway United but since then have gone on to beat Longford, Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers, scoring six and conceding none in the process.
Pat’s will be hoping for a change in fortune against Dundalk having lost the President’s Cup, three league games and a Leinster Senior Cup tie to the Lilywhites last year.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com, manager Liam Buckley said his side have work to do despite their winning run, pointing out areas that need improvement from their Dublin Derby win over Shamrock Rovers.
“I was delighted with our win in Tallaght last Friday. Our ball retention and general play wasn’t where we’d want it to be yet, but I thought the players worked tirelessly in defence and off the ball and got their reward when the chances came our way.
“We know we’ve to work on a few things and hopefully the players will improve given time. We’ve another tough game on Thursday against Dundalk, who are again one of the leading sides in the league this season.”
Concerning team news, Jack Bayly remains out through injury while Sean Hoare is absent due to his involvement with the Republic of Ireland U-21s. In more positive news for Liam Buckley, Jamie McGrath has returned to training while Michael Barker may be available following injury.
As for the visitors, Dundalk began the season with victories over Bray Wanderers and newly-promoted sides Finn Harps and Wexford Youths before defeat at home to Cork City, courtesy of a second half penalty from former player Sean Maguire.
Dundalk will be looking to bounce back from defeat to Cork by making it three from three on the road and speaking to dundalkfc.com, manager Stephen Kenny said:
“I thought we played very well last week. Our application was good and it’s important that we carry that into this week against St. Patrick’s Athletic. Pat’s have beaten Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers already this season and we have to respect that.
“From our point of view, we want to bounce back from the defeat last week. We are looking forward to the game and we’ll be ready for it.”
In team news, Dundalk have just one injury, in the form of Patrick McEleney after he picked up a groin injury against Cork City.
St. Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Jack Bayly.
International Involvement: Sean Hoare (Republic of Ireland U-21s).
Injured: Patrick McEleney (groin injury).
Last Two Meetings
LSC, 22 September 2015: St. Patrick’s Athletic 0-1 Dundalk
League, 17 August 2015: Dundalk 4-1 St. Patrick’s Athletic
St. Patrick’s Athletic 5/2, Draw 2/1, Dundalk 5/4.
Richmond Park, 7:45pm.
Gerard Grimes, Pundit Arena
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