Despite off the field problems, Dundalk have recently been in good form and will be hoping to continue that this week by beating neighbours Drogheda United. Dundalk had lost four on the trot before they managed a surprise 2-1 victory in Inchicore against St. Patrick’s
Athletic and then defeated non-league St. Patrick’s CY last weekend in the FAI Cup.
All this though was played against the backdrop of a financial crisis which has hit the club and the future of the club looking bleak. A serious cash flow problem has resulted in players not being paid last week and an unpaid insurance claim has come to light. Gate receipts and sponsorship decline is another factor in the club’s plight and they will be hoping things get better over the break.
The Lilywhites will be without Luke Danville who continues his recovery from an ankle ligament injury while there is a serious doubt over Liam Burns who had to be substituted at half-time last week due to difficulty breathing which was due to an infection. Derek Foran is
struggling with a back problem but he should be fit. Striker Shane O’Neill has been struggling with a foot injury but should be available while fellow striker Michael Rafter will definitely miss out due to a suspension.
Speaking to *extratime.ie* ahead of the match, manager Sean McCaffrey, is looking forward to the match but is hoping his side can address the physicality that has dominated their previous matches this year.
“I am looking forward to it. I think we're good enough to win. We have played them twice(Jim Malone Cup and League) this year, drew one and lost one but in my opinion, we were the better team on both occasions.
“In the match we have to mix it up a wee bit. We have to match them better physically in this game. Up to now, we have been bullied and pushed and shoved around the pitch. Physically we are not as strong a side as them so we will have to address that.”
Drogheda United will be hoping to continue their good first half to the season as they make the short trip down the M1 to their neighbours Dundalk. Although they have only one win in their last seven league games, Mick Cooke’s troops find themselves in fifth position in the
table. A win on Friday evening could lift the Drogs to third should other results go their way.
The Boynesiders will be looking to build on a 6-0 victory that they recorded last weekend and heap more misery on their county counterparts. They were held to a 1-1 draw by Cork City at home in their last league match. The Drogs were unlucky not to win the opening
match at United Park last March and will be in confident mood heading to Oriel Park.
Stephen Quigley returns following a calf injury last weekend. Drogheda United have only one absentee and that is the suspended Gavin Brennan meaning they travel the short distance north with almost a full strength side.
Speaking ahead of the match, Mick Cooke knows his side will be ready for the match but is not taking Dundalk lightly following their recent up turn in fortunes.
"None of the lads need motivation for this game and there is the added incentive that its live on RTE.
"Dundalk won't be any pushovers, they won their last two games and look like they could start putting a run together. Momentum is a big factor in this league."
Referee: Paul Tuite.
Drogheda United are looking for their first league victory against
Dundalk at Hunky Dory Park since a 1-0 win in January 1998. Drogheda
did manage a home victory in the FAI Cup tie between the sides back in
2004 coming out on top with a 3-2 win.
Drogheda United have six former Dundalk players in their 2012 squad –
Tiarnan Mulvenna, Johnny Breen, Paul Crowley, Shane Grimes, Stephen
Quigley, Peter Hynes, Declan O’Brien and Chris Kerr. Dundalk have just
one former Drog in their squad – Eoghan Osborne.
Drogheda United have won only one of the 13 league meetings since
Dundalk returned to the Premier League in 2009 and only one of the
last 14 including FAI Cup. That sole victory came last June when goals
from Dinny Corcoran and Philip Hand gave the Boynesiders a 2-1 win.
Dundalk 12/5; Draw 11/5; Drogheda 11/10.
Despite their recent good form, it's hard to look past Drogheda for this one. Away victory to the Drogs. 0-2.
Dundalk Injury News: Luke Danville (out), Liam Burns (very doubtful), Derek Foran (doubtful).
Dundalk Suspension News: Michael Rafter.
Unavailable: Hernany Macedo.
Drogheda Injury News: None.
Drogheda Suspension News: Gavin Brennan.