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A Louth derby FAI Cup quarter-final tie sees Dundalk host Drogheda United at Oriel Park (kick-off 7.45pm).
Dundalk come into the game in red-hot form, having won their last game 6-0 at home to St Patrick’s Athletic and their last five in all competitions.
Two of those five games came against Derry City at home and non-league Crumlin United at the Iveagh Grounds in the first and second round respectively, winning 4-0 and 3-1.
Defender Shane Grimes told the club’s official website what it meant to draw Friday’s opposition in the quarter-final as well as the importance of the Cup itself.
“It’s probably the stand out tie out of all of them. I know a lot of fans remember the game a couple of years ago. I was on the opposite side then.
“I know that our supporters are eagerly awaiting this one and revenge or whatever you want to call it from that day.
“It’s a Louth Derby in a FAI Cup quarter-final, we’re two games away from potentially being in the AVIVA Stadium again like we have been for the last couple of years.”
In last year’s Cup, the three-in-a-row champions reached the final but lost out to Cork City after extra time thanks to a deflected Sean Maguire strike.
Boss Stephen Kenny will no doubt be disappointed that his charges have been unable to keep tabs on runaway league leaders Cork but will feel a cup win would go a long way in making fans happy.
He also hopes his men can keep up their blistering form for the meeting of their county rivals.
“It’s an important game – an FAI Cup quarter-final. There’s a derby element to it. In the Cup you always expect a tough game. They are always difficult and we are at the quarter-final stage so this will be no different.
“The players are in good form though and we are scoring a lot of goals. They are coming from all over the pitch as well. We can take confidence from that and it’s a good thing to have.
“The players are defending well also, we have been playing well over the last few weeks and we want to keep that good run of form going into the game tomorrow.”
They last won the competition in 2016 as the Lilywhites beat the Rebel Army 1-0 in extra time to complete a league and cup double, with Richie Towell netting the winner.
Even the most optimistic of Drogheda United fans will be resigned to their 2017 league season ending in relegation.
They are 12 points adrift of safety with seven games remaining – and the game in hand over the teams above them remains away to Europe-chasing Derry City – so this quarter-final tie will prove to be the County Louth outfit's biggest game remaining of their campaign.
Pete Mahon's side's form in this competition is pretty decent, beating two non-league teams.
A 0-4 win away to Kilkenny's Evergreen in the first round came first, where a Chris Mulhall brace coincided with Ryan Masterson and Mark Doyle both netting.
The second round on August 25th consisted of a 5-1 hosting of Cork club Cobh Wanderers. Mulhall and Shane Elworthy both netted braces, with Thomas Byrne adding the fifth.
Their FAI Cup run is a welcome change from their poor league position and a Louth derby Cup quarter-final will definitely be that distraction, where a win over their county rivals would somewhat make-up for the aforementioned disastrous league season.
"I think they're playing the best football in the country at the moment," Mahon explained Thursday afternoon. "It's the draw that everyone wanted to avoid but here we are and I've seen enough in football to know that anything can happen in a derby game.
"The key for us is to keep it tight and without a doubt keep eleven players on the pitch. We've let ourselves down in that aspect too many times against Dundalk in the past.
"It's a great test for our players because it'll have a real big game atmosphere to it. It's something that Dundalk will be used to at this stage but it's new to us and hopefully the players will rise to the occasion."
Referee: Neil Doyle
Both sides have met each other competitively 32 times. Dundalk have won exactly half of those whereas Drogheda have won nine. There has been seven draws.
There have been a lot of goals in this fixture over the years: 3.13 goals per game to be exact.
The two league meetings this season between the pair have been dominated by Dundalk. A 3-1 win at Oriel Park in March and a 0-6 win at United Park in June were the results for the Lilywhites. They’ve to meet again on the 22nd of this month at Oriel.
Drogheda have won the Cup just the once, whereas Dundalk have won it ten times.
Dundalk's last five games in all competitions: WWWWW
Drogheda United's last five games in all competitions: WLWLL
Dundalk 1/10; Draw 8/1; Drogheda United 25/1
Dundalk 2-0 Drogheda United
Injured: Stephen O’Donnell, Dane Massey, John Mountney.
Injured: Colm Deasy, Ciaran McGuigan, Kevin Farragher, Gavin Brennan.
Suspended: Chris Mulhall.