Dundalk -v- Monaghan UnitedThu, May 17 2012
Having slumped to their third defeat on the bounce last week against Bray Wanderers, Dundalk will be hoping to get their season back on track with a victory over fellow strugglers, Monaghan United. The Lilywhites put in a lacklustre display against the Seagulls last weekend and will be looking for an improved performance as they look to put some further daylight between themselves and Mons.
Their recent form has not been good. Just one win from their last seven matches and not a home win in eight. A 2-1 victory against UCD way back in March. Having played so well two weeks ago in Cork, the loss to Bray last weekend will have been a real setback. Dundalk are hoping for a change of fortunes and may be confident that this weekend will signal an upturn. Once again Peter Cherrie is proving his worth in goal for the Louth club and will be hoping for a quieter night this Friday than in recent weeks.
Dundalk seem to have had a problem playing in Oriel Park and that has been evident in recent weeks. Out of 15, the Sean McCaffrey’s charges have only picked up four points. A worrying trend that they will hope to turn starting this weekend.
Dundalk welcome back Liam Burns and Chris Shields to the squad following injury and suspension respectively. Luke Danville however remains out due to an ankle injury while Mark Griffin continues his return from injury and will more than likely be involved. A number of the youth players are expected to feature also. Hernany remains unavailable due to problems with his work permit.
Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat ahead of the match, McCaffrey isn’t really looking forward to being at home and believes Dundalk are close to full strength for the visit of their neighbours.
“I’d prefer if our games away because we haven’t played well at Oriel Park in one match. We played well in Derry, we played well in Sligo and we played well in Cork. Every time we play at Oriel Park we are poor.
“There’s not many changes we can make. We don’t have a stack of injuries and we are not far off our strongest team.”
Monaghan United have been on a similar run of form to their opponents. They too have lost three on the spin and will be hoping to kick-start their campaign this weekend with a victory against neighbours Dundalk. A heavy 4-1 loss at home to Derry City on
Tuesday night makes this weekend's game all the more important for the Mons.
After the first series of games, Monaghan are propping up the table with just five points. However all is not lost as the team have played well in a number of matches and have been unfortunate not to get more out of it than they have. Like their opponents, they have picked up more points away from home than at Gortakeegan.
Monaghan haven’t won since beating Bohemians four weeks ago and have recorded just one win from their opening 11 matches.
This will of course be of concern to manager Roddy Collins but knows that if his side can put in a good performance this weekend, they may well come away with all three points. Dundalk have been poor at home this term, especially in recent weeks and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Monaghan were to capitalise on the Dundalk’s frailties at Oriel Park. A win for Mons would leave them just one point behind their opponents.
For that defeat against Derry City earlier in the week, Mons were without seven of their first-teamers. The situation should be eased somewhat with the return of Willo McDonagh, Keith Quinn and Robert Bayly. Aidan Collins may return but he is rated as doubtful. While they have no suspensions, Mons will have to plan their trip to Louth without injured trio John Reilly, Paul Whelan and Shaun Maher.
Speaking ahead of the game in their team bulletin, manager Roddy Collins has identified inconsistency in team selection as a factor of his team's poor showing this term while he is hopeful ahead of the trip to Oriel
“This season I have been unfortunate in the lack of consistency of being able to the same side out two weeks in a row, indeed I haven’t been able to put out my favourite starting eleven.
“However most of the players who weren’t available to me for the Derry game will be back for the Dundalk tie. The Orielmen are just ahead of us in the table, this season they are doing poorly at home. I believe we can continue that run for them.”
Before this season the last Premier Division meeting between the sides in over 10 years, December 2001. Dundalk ran out 3-0 winners that day.
Their most recent league meeting in Oriel Park of any description was in July 2008 in the First Division. Dundalk also were 3-0 victors that day.
Monaghan are currently unbeaten in their last four meetings with Dundalk. They have drawn two and won two of those meetings. Dundalk haven’t beaten Monaghan since that victory in 2008.
Monaghan are looking for their first victory in Oriel Park since September 2004.
Monaghan currently have two former Dundalk players in their squad – Stephen Maher and Chris Bennion while Dundalk have Kevin Loughran who is involved in both the youth and senior set up.
Referee: Neil Doyle
Dundalk-13/10 Draw-11/5 Monaghan United-2/1
As both sides are languishing in the bottom two and in dire need of a victory, it has potential to be a rather exciting match. However a draw is the most likely outcome. 1-1.
Dundalk injury news: Luke Danville.
Dundalk Suspension News: None
Unavailable: Hernany Macedo.
Monaghan United injury news: Aidan Collins(doubt) Paul Whelan, Shaun Maher and John Reilly.
Monaghan United Suspension News: None