The game marks the beginning of a run of three consecutive home games for Dundalk who will be welcoming back their ex manager Sean Connor as well as ex right back Shaun Kelly. The Cup can give teams who are struggling for league form a break from their worries and Galway will certainly be hoping for just that effect. Sean will no doubt be citing the example of Drogheda and Wexford on Friday night as proof of this to his players.
Lilywhites start as hot favourites
Dundalk boast the only unbeaten home league record in the Premier Division which stands in stark contrast to Galway’s record on the road this year of just one win, one draw and six defeats. The Tribesmen are also on a run of ten consecutive defeats in all. Bearing this in mind it is perhaps easy to see why the bookies make Dundalk such red hot favourites for this tie. However, Galway have to hope that the lengthy injury list at Oriel, the fatigue caused by it and any potential complacency on the home teams part will give them a glimmer of hope.
Lilywhites Assistant Manager Darius Kierans spoke exclusively to Extratime.ie as his team prepared for the tie with his thoughts on what lay ahead. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that we got the toughest draw of the round. It’s a chance for Galway to put away their league form and forget their worries, it’s definitely going to be a difficult game. Obviously it’s nice to have home advantage, it’s very important in the cup. I’m sure that Sean will be looking forward to coming back to Dundalk and be trying to put one over his old club, we need to start the game well and be at it and play at a high tempo from the off.”
Not a happy hunting ground for Tribesmen
Galway are in a trough as far as their league form is concerned with their last game on the road bringing a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Derry City. In total they have now conceded 23 goals in eight games away from Terryland Park with just six goals registered in response. On the plus side they can point to having scored twice on their last visit to Oriel and were only defeated by a late winner from their old boy Shane Guthrie. In recent years however the border venue has not been a happy hunting ground for them with their last victory coming way back in 2005, with just two goals (on their last visit) to show for their eight journeys cross country since that win.
Sean Connor spoke to Galway Bay FM to give his thoughts on the game. “We need to stop this run, or we need to give a performance that gives some confidence back into the players. It’s a very important game. To be honest with you a cup run in the type of year we are having would be welcome financially and would be welcome as a morale boosting thing for the players as well. It would be nice if we can get what I consider my best team or as close to it, out on the park and we’ll try and give it a good shot. Gary Curran came off the bench against Derry so he’s in contention, Shaun Maher should be fit again and hopefully Alan Murphy so there’s three (players) which will make a big difference.”
Injured: Eoghan Osborne (fractured tibia), Stephen Maher (groin), Stephen McDonnell (knee) and Jason Byrne (hamstring), Michael Hector (knee), Greg Bolger (hamstring).
Doubtful: Nathan Murphy.
Injured: Steve Feeney (ankle).
Doubtful: Alan Murphy.
Referee: Paul Tuite
Paddypower.com Odds: Dundalk 1/5; Draw 5/1; Galway United 11/1.
Extratime.ie Prediction: 3-1 home win.