Having drawn three of their first four matches, Vinny Perth will be anxious for his side to pick up three much needed points when they play host to Waterford on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
Dundalk are severely depleted in midfield ahead of this fixture with Chris Shields set to miss at least the next few weeks after picking up a knee injury in last week’s scoreless draw at Shamrock Rovers.
The Lilywhites will also be without John Mountney for the visit of Waterford after he got injured in the warm-up against Rovers while Robbie Benson and Patrick McEleney are long-term absentees.
A left-back by trade, Dean Jarvis has been utilised in central-midfield in the past and could be an option for Perth but the former Derry City man is in a race against time to recover from a calf strain.
One player that has made a more than welcome return in recent weeks is Republic of Ireland U21 international Jamie McGrath, who made his first start of the season in last Friday’s draw in Tallaght.
“It’s always tough game up in Tallaght. They don’t make it easy for you and there is always an edge to the games,” McGrath told the club’s official website.
“I think a draw maybe flattered them a bit on the overall scheme of things but we probably didn’t create as much chances as we’d have hoped.
“I know we hit the bar and should have had a penalty but for the amount of possession we had we probably didn’t create enough on the night.
“However, we did very well to limit their chances on the night and bar one very good save, Gary wasn’t too busy on the night which was good.
“I was delighted to get my first 90 (minutes) under the belt. It was a very tough game to play as it was a physical battle but thankfully, I came through okay.
“The injury was a niggling one I had for a while and thankfully it seems to have settled down now.
“I’m feeling, from a fitness perspective, pretty good as Danny (Miller) and Davie (Murphy) had me working hard while I was out and really looked after my rehab paying a lot of attention to detail so I’m very thankful to them for that.
“So now it’s just about getting match sharpness now as I haven’t trained much and missed all of the pre-season matches but I feel like I’m getting there.
“Waterford have had a good start to the season. They were unlucky against Shamrock Rovers and have beaten Cork in Turners Cross so they are clearly a strong side.
“However, we must focus on our own game and keep our performances good, as they have been, and hopefully we can come out with the three points on Friday night.”
Much like Dundalk, the Blues have won just one of their opening four league matches, the most recent of which was a hard-fought scoreless draw against Bohemians at the RSC last Friday night.
“I was happy to get a point against Bohs to be honest,” said Waterford manager Alan Reynolds.
“They were the form team coming down and I think especially in the second half that if either team was going to win the game, it was going to be us.
“With no midweek game this week, we’ve been able to give some lads time for some knocks to clear up and get ready for Friday – they’ve needed that extra few days after playing through the pain barrier the past few weeks.
“Going to Dundalk is never easy but it’s one you have to look forward to. They’ve been the top team over the past few seasons and we’ve had some good games against them last season, including beating them at the RSC, so we’re all looking forward to another challenging game on Friday.”
Waterford have more or less a full squad to choose from ahead of their visit to Oriel Park but left-back Kevin Lynch along with star player Bastien Hery will both have to undergo late fitness tests.
Referee: Robert Harvey
The very first meeting between these two sides produced a ten-goal thriller when Dundalk thrashed Waterford by a score of 7-3 at the old Athletic Grounds way back on the 24th August 1930.
Waterford have not recorded a victory at Oriel Park since the 2002/03 season when the Blues were promoted as First Division champions whereas Dundalk finished a lowly ninth in the second tier.
Stretching back to last season, Dundalk are in fact unbeaten in their last ten league outings having not tasted defeat since Shamrock Rovers came to Oriel Park and recorded a 2-1 win in August 2018.
Dundalk 4/9; Draw 7/2; Waterford 11/2
Dundalk 2-1 Waterford
Injured: Chris Shields, John Mountney, Robbie Benson, Patrick McEleney.
Doubtful: Dean Jarvis.
Doubtful: Bastien Hery, Kevin Lynch.