The Lilywhites will be searching for their first win of the new SSE Airtricity League season when they welcome Limerick to Oriel Park on Tuesday night, following scoreless draws in their opening two games – the first time this has happened since Dundalk joined the League of Ireland back in 1926.
Dane Massey captained the side in both of those matches and made his 200th competitive start for the club in what was a hard fought 0-0 draw with Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium last Friday.
“We felt that we had created enough chances to win the game on Friday against Shamrock Rovers,” said Massey.
“We have a big week ahead of us now with the two games in a couple of days but it’s a good turnaround. These are the games we need to pick up as many points as we can over the next few weeks.
“We have Limerick tomorrow night which will be a tough game but we believe we can win and hopefully a win, at home, can kick us off in the right manner this week and give us confidence to go on a run.”
Stephen Kenny will be delighted to welcome back Sean Hoare into the fold after the defender sustained a hamstring injury in the President’s Cup match a fortnight ago, but Stephen O’Donnell and John Mountney both remain sidelined with calf and knee injuries respectively.
"It was a good performance against Shamrock Rovers on Friday night. We just didn’t take our chances on the night. We created a few chances and were unlucky not to win,” said Kenny.
“We have to get ourselves back on track on Tuesday night. We are back at home to Limerick and have to raise it again. We have to raise our level and hopefully get the victory.”
Tipped by many to go down this season, Limerick came ever so close to defying the odds and making it two wins from two before they conceded a stoppage time equaliser against Bohemians last Friday.
“It was probably a fair result,” manager Tommy Barrett told Extratime.ie reporter Tom Clancy after the game.
“Hopefully we can score in the 90th minute some time. We’ve only a short break for Tuesday – football moves on.
“It’s a game of football. We’ll go and try win it and if we can’t we’ll get a result. We’ve three games in a week, so we’ll have to look at.
“The younger players we have we won’t be afraid to use them. Obviously, we don’t want to be using six or seven of them at one time, but if we have to put in one or two then sure.
“You can play on the astro-turf, you can play on the floor, it’s not bobbling all over the place. We’ll play for sure.
“Dundalk are a very good side. They probably haven’t clicked yet – we hope they don’t click on Tuesday night.”
Barrett confirmed over the weekend that deals to bring in forward Jeff McGowan – who had been training with Dundalk in pre-season – along with former Utrecht midfielder Barry Maguire have been completed.
However, both players will not be registered in time for the trip to Oriel Park on Tuesday night, while Connor Ellis and Danny Morrissey are doubtful to pass fitness tests for this match though Limerick have a full squad to choose from otherwise.
Referee: Paul Tuite
This will be the 226th meeting of both sides and Dundalk have emerged victorious on 122 occasions whereas Limerick have won 56 times since winning the very first encounter 2-0 back in October 1937.
Should this match finish scoreless, then it would be the first time that Dundalk have drawn 0-0 in three consecutive league matches since doing so against Galway United, Limerick and Cobh Ramblers in 2005.
Limerick have not tasted victory against Dundalk in any of the previous nine meetings between the sides, with their last win in this fixture coming when a Rory Gaffney brace saw them clinch a 2-1 win at Oriel Park in September 2013.
Dundalk 3/10; Draw 4/1; Limerick 9/1
Dundalk 2-0 Limerick
Injured: John Mountney (knee), Stephen O’Donnell (calf).
Doubtful: Connor Ellis (groin) and Danny Morrissey (shin).