Liam Buckley’s St. Patrick’s Athletic host Drogheda United on Monday night as they look to go six games unbeaten in the league, while the visitors are looking for their first win since March 13th against Sligo Rovers.
Pat’s are currently sitting in fifth place in the league, with three wins and two draws from their last five games. The latest victory coming on Friday night against Bohemians, courtesy of a first half strike from Ciarán Kilduff.
The home side have a superb record against the Boynesiders, with their last defeat in this fixture coming all the way back in July 2012 in a 2-0 defeat in Richmond Park.
Pats won all three fixtures between the sides last season, scoring 13 and conceding just 2 in the process, with 10 of those 13 goals coming from Conan Byrne (6) and Chris Forrester (4).
Lee Desmond is again available for selection after serving a one-match suspension, following a red card against Cork City. Buckley may have to do without Christy Fagan, who faces a late fitness test and Togo international Cyril Guedje, who looks like he will play no part.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com, ahead of Monday’s game, Buckley said he is expecting a difficult test from Johnny McDonnell’s side,
“Monday will be another difficult game as Drogheda have been going well and recorded some good results to date. Any team managed by Johnny will always be well prepared for the game and will be highly motivated to get a result.”
As for the visitors, Johnny McDonnell’s Drogheda side have lost their last four games and haven’t won since they came from behind to beat Sligo 3-2 in the second game of the season.
The Boynesiders lost 2-1 at home to Cork City on Friday evening, and were left ruing a poor first half performance, which saw the Leesiders score two goals in as many minutes. However, McDonnell will have been pleased by their second half performance, which saw the Drogs take control and get a goal back through Lloyd Buckley, a goal which gave the young defender his first senior goal of his career.
Drogheda will again be without defender Neil Yadolahi, who has had to travel to England for further treatment on a thigh injury, that has kept him out of action for a number of weeks.
Influential midfielder Sean Thornton, who only returned on Friday night to face Cork after being out for a number of weeks with a hamstring injury, did not train on Sunday morning, again because of a hamstring problem, and will face a late fitness test.
Speaking to droghedaunited.ie ahead of the game, McDonnell said,
“We will be going into the game with a similar approach to Dundalk a fortnight ago. We need to pressure them because they like to play a quick passing game. St Pat’s have had a bit of a slow start this season by their standards and hopefully that will continue tomorrow night.”
Expected Starting XIs
St. Patrick’s Athletic: O’Malley; Hoare, Browne, O’Brien, Bermingham; Forrester, Byrne, Bolger, Brennan; Greene, Kilduff.
Drogheda United: Schlingermann; Daly, Byrne, Buckley, Gorman; Maher, Hughes; Brady, Walshe, Mulvenna; Kavanagh.
St Patrick’s Athletic
Doubtful: Cyril Guedje, Christy Fagan
Injured: Neil Yadolahi
Doubtful: Sean Thornton
Last Two Meetings
10th October 2014: Drogheda United 2-3 St. Patrick’s Athletic
2nd June 2014: St. Patrick’s Athletic 6-0 Drogheda United
Referee: Robert Harvey
Assistants: Mark Gavin, Darragh Keegan
Fourth Official: Neil Doyle
Pundit Arena Prediction
St. Patrick’s Athletic 3-1 Drogheda United
St. Patrick’s Athletic 1/3; Draw 18/5; Drogheda United 10/1
Gerard Grimes, Pundit Arena
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