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League Preview: Drogheda United -v- Galway United

Fri, Aug 03 2018

DROGHEDA UNITED

Drogheda United host Galway United in another hugely important game as both sides look to strengthen their positions in the race for the First Division play-offs (kick-off 7.45pm).

The Boynesiders currently sit second in the league, seven points behind league leaders UCD and level on points with third placed Finn Harps, with Shelbourne two points behind in the final play-off spot.

Drogheda were held to a 0-0 draw away to Wexford last week, with manager Tim Clancy admitting his side were not at their best.

“We weren’t at our best but we should’ve come away with the three points,” he said.

“I thought we started quite well but then Wexford came into it and there wasn’t a lot between the teams at half-time.

“Once Wexford went down to ten men, we were the only side who looked likely to score. We missed three or four really good chances but the most disappointing thing was our final ball on the evening.”

“You have to give credit to Wexford, they defended very well and made it a really competitive game,” Clancy said.

Drogheda are six points ahead of Galway United and Longford Town, who occupy the two spots outside the play-offs and Clancy has a full squad to choose from as they look to maintain that gap.

“We’ve had two really close games with Galway this season and obviously everyone remembers Sean Brennan’s free-kick from a couple of months ago.

“I think Galway’s results have picked up over the last month or so and I’m sure they will be coming here confident of coming away with a result.

“I feel we’ve played some of our best football in the bigger games this season and hopefully tomorrow night will follow that trend.”

GALWAY UNITED

Galway United travel to Drogheda on Friday looking to make it back to back wins in the league following their 3-2 victory over Cabinteely last week.

That victory kept Galway in the hunt for a play-off spot, as they sit fifth, level on points with sixth placed Longford Town and four points off the final play-off spot, currently held by Shelbourne.

Manager Alan Murphy knows the importance of this game, saying his side will approach the game like a cup final.

“We need to bring the game to them. We need to force the issue and to play our game,” Murphy told the club’s website.

“It’s not just about guts, hard work and determination. We need to get the ball down and play.”

“It’s a cup final and we’re going to approach it like that. We’re very positive and we’re going to pick a very attacking team.”

Murphy is aware of Drogheda’s threat from set pieces, with Sean Brennan's free kick handing Drogheda all three points when the sides played in May.

“Drogheda are a combative side, they don’t give a lot away and they’re good from set pieces. Sean Brennan is quality from them.

“We’re going there to try and open them up and put in a performance with the quality that we have. We have positivity and confidence in the group ahead of the game.”

Galway will be without Maurice Nugent and Conor Layng who remain out with long term injuries while Robbie Williams and Gary Shanahan are doubtful.

New signings Evan Murphy and Dara Mulgannon are both available and go straight into the squad for the game.

 

Referee: Adriano Reale.

 

MATCH STATS

The first meeting between these sides this season ended in a 2-2 draw at United Park while Drogheda won the second game at Eamonn Deacy Park 1-0 after Sean Brennan's free kick.

Drogheda have scored the second most goals in the First Division this season, with 42 goals in 22 games, while Galway have scored 37 in the same number of games.

 

BETTING

Drogheda United 1/1; Draw 23/10; Galway United 9/4.

PREDICTION

Drogheda United 1-1 Galway United

 

Drogheda United

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

Galway United

Injured: Maurice Nugent (ankle), Conor Layng (cruciate).

Doubtful: Robbie Williams, Gary Shanahan.

Suspended: None.