UCD will look to consolidate their already-tight grip of top spot and seal the south Dublin bragging rights when they host Cabinteely at the UCD Bowl on Friday evening (kick-off 7.45pm).
After a fantastic run of form which has seen UCD climb up to the top spot in the First Division, Collie O’Neill's side will land the elusive title come season's end should they pick up eight points from their remaining five games.
However the noises from the youthful and energetic Students camp suggest that they are firmly fixated on a one-game-at-a-time mantra which has seen them soar up the table with many superb showings throughout.
With the best home and away form this year, it is perhaps no surprise to see UCD where they are currently standing in the table, as they lie seven points clear of Drogheda United and Finn Harps in second and third respectively.
With the league firmly in touching distance, O’Neill has bolstered his ranks with former Reading striker Conor Davis joining the club after a spell at the Madjeski Stadium.
“Over the last few years the games between us have been really close,” O'Neill told the club's media team.
“Pat [Devlin] knows us, and our style of play very well from his time here and, since he has gone in there, they’ve been able to pick up some good results against us and they’ll be looking to do the same again on Friday night.
“If we have aspirations to win the league, then it’s important we concentrate on our own game and look to get the result and the three points we need to maintain our lead at the top of the table.”
UCD will have a full selection of players to choose from during their clash against Cabo as Davis could be in line to make his UCD bow in a crucial south Dublin derby.
Pat Devlin’s Cabinteely side hope to make it two south Dublin derby wins on the bounce against UCD for the first time in their brief League of Ireland history.
While Cabo have strung together some mightily impressive victories at home against the division’s big hitters, their away form has been the major issue of a largely inconsistent season.
Marty Waters and Co have picked up 18 points at home out of a possible 33 while they have only picked up a rather poor ten points out of 33 away from home so far this year.
Their only away wins have come against crisis club Athlone Town and Wexford FC who both occupy ninth and tenth place in the First Division league standings.
The last game saw Cabo run out comfortable two-goal winners at Stradbrook as an unfortunate Carl Williams was punished for two mistakes which led directly to Cabinteely goals on a night when UCD never really got going.
Should Cabinteely grab the all-important three points come ten o’clock on Friday evening, they could pull the gap back on fifth-place Longford Town and Galway United to just four points.
Cabinteely have not provided any team but they will have no suspensions to deal with prior to their keenly anticipated clash in Dublin 4.
Referee: David Keeler.
UCD have only picked up four points from their last three home games as they have stuttered against the likes of Longford Town and Shelbourne following the resumption of play post the mid-season break.
However, the Students won their last home encounter against Galway United thanks to goals from Daire O’Connor and Yoyo Mahdy.
Cabinteely’s first ever league win at the UCD Bowl came last season as they edged the Students out in a five-goal thriller at the Belfield Campus.
That was Cabo’s first competitive win over their Southside rivals in eleven attempts since they secured a famous one-goal EA Sports Cup win over UCD back in 2015, their debut year in the League of Ireland.
In the last six games between these pair of First Division rivals, only one game has failed to see more than 3.5 goals scored.
The prior meeting of the Students and Cabo was the case in which this occurred when Cabinteely ran out comfortable 2-0 winners at Stradbrook in May.
UCD 4/7; Draw 11/4; Cabinteely 7/2.
UCD 2-0 Cabinteely