Should the Lilywhites prevent Bohemians from scoring on Friday night, they would break a League of Ireland record for consecutive clean sheets at the start of a season, as well as equalling a club record of eight consecutive league clean sheets, which has stood since 1990/91.
Both their defence and Gary Rogers has been catalyst to this remarkable feat, with the veteran goalkeeper also making his 501st career league appearance in last week’s 2-0 win at Sligo Rovers.
“It was an important win for us on Saturday at the Showgrounds against Sligo Rovers,” said Rogers.
“It has been a tough venue for us down through the years. We are happy with the win. We could have played better but it’s a results business. We were under pressure early doors but we weathered that storm and grew into the game. The first goal settled us down and put us on the way to the win.
“We are well aware that there has been seven clean sheets in a row. There has been plenty of talk about it but we are looking forward to this weekend. We are hoping to get another clean sheet. It’s another game to us all the same but we want to get that record, we don’t want to concede goals anyway so it’d be nice to get another one and the record.
“We are going about our business as we usually would. We have had some really difficult games against them the last few years. They have turned us over a couple of times. We know they will be tough opposition for us. We know will have to be at our best to get the three points but that is our objective each week. We want to win every week and hopefully we can get another one tomorrow night.”
Dean Jarvis could make a return to the matchday squad but Lithuanian international midfielder Karolis Chvedukas is unlikely to feature against Bohemians following the hamstring injury which kept him out of the trip to Sligo, while Dylan Connolly and Brian Gartland are also major doubts.
The Gypsies come into this fixture on the back of two home wins on the bounce, the first of which came through a stoppage time winner from Dinny Corcoran against Bray Wanderers last Friday, before a 5-1 thrashing of Cabinteely in the first round of the EA Sports Cup on Monday night.
“We've had two good results but neither will have any bearing coming up against a team like Dundalk,” said manager Keith Long.
“We know our performance levels have to be much better than they were against Bray, especially against the likes of Dundalk. They've been the team to beat for a number of years so we will need to be resolute. We got a bit of luck in the end against Bray that we haven't had in previous games.
“But you have to make your own luck and it was an excellent goal – great composure from Dinny to finish and excellent play from Keith Ward to set him up. It's important Dinny got off the mark. He's an important player for us but he's struggled a bit since pre-season with a groin injury niggling at him.
“He wasn't really in the game much before that. But when he was handed that chance, he took it and that's what good goalscorers like Dinny do.”
Karl Moore is 50/50 to pass fit for the trip up to Oriel Park but captain Derek Pender – who had a loan spell with Dundalk way back in 2004 – misses out against his former club through a calf injury while Kevin Devaney, Ryan Swan and Cristian Magerusan are also ruled out for this encounter.
Referee: To Be Confirmed
This fixture represents the 324th competitive meeting between Dundalk and Bohemians since their first ever encounter – a 1-1 draw at the old Athletic Grounds back in 1926.
Bohemians were in fact the last opposition to score at Oriel Park, when Ismahil Akinade (now with Waterford) got the game's only goal of as the Gypsies defeated Dundalk on October 20th – that was 160 days ago.
Bohs skipper Derek Pender and Keith Ward have both had spells with tThe Lilywhites, while Dundalk captain Stephen O’Donnell along with George Poynton have both plied their trade at Dalymount Park in the past.
Dundalk 3/10; Draw 15/4; Bohemians 11/1
Dundalk 3-0 Bohemians
Doubtful: Karolis Chvedukas (hamstring), Dylan Connolly (back), Brian Gartland (tonsillitis).
Injured: Derek Pender (calf), Kevin Devaney (illness), Ryan Swan (cruciate), Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal).
Doubtful: Karl Moore (back).