Dundalk go into this game on the back of some good news off the pitch as the protracted takeover of the club was finally completed on Friday afternoon which has secured the future of the club. The consortium, made up of local businessmen backed by the Dundalk FC Community Trust. For the first time in a number of months, Dundalk fans were looking ahead with optimism, until they read the results Friday’s matches and realised they had slipped to the bottom of the league!
Thus turning this encounter with title chasing St. Patrick’s Athletic a huge match. As Dundalk had no game on Friday, they slipped to the bottom of the table as UCD beat Cork City 3-1. Despite that, the Lilywhites will be feeling confident. They have somewhat steadied the ship as have been picking up results and are unbeaten at home since June. They have also already beaten St. Patrick’s Athletic this season 2-1 at Richmond Park thanks to a double from Mark Griffin.
For the match, Dundalk will have to do without Liam Burns who has failed to recover from injury while Chris Shields is suspended following eight yellow cards and returning midfielder Stephen Maher is serving a suspension carried over from his time at Monaghan United. Eoghan Osborne made a welcome return from injury against Bray Wanderers while Peter Cherrie should resume as netminder as he sat out the friendly with Chelsea.
Speaking to extratime.ie ahead of the game, Dundalk interim manager Darius Kierans was full of praise for his opponents and feels the friendly against Chelsea was perfect preparation.
“You have to admire Liam Buckley. He has gone into European football and stuck to his principals. He got them playing the right way, ball on the ground, they play entertaining football, they play out from the back and do all the right things.
“The game against Chelsea worked out perfect with us having no game on Friday. Pat’s will move the ball about a lot like Chelsea did so hopefully we’ve learned from that.”
ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
St. Patrick’s Athletic make the trip up the M1 to face Dundalk following a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Bray Wanderers on Friday night. The defeat leaves them in 11 points behind leaders Sligo Rovers but they do have games in hand. After a good win in Cork, the Saints’ defeat came as a surprise to many and even ill-tempered nature of the match may have been even more surprising. With just 11 games to go for the Inchicore side, it is now time they need wins and they know that a win against a struggling Dundalk would be crucial.
St. Patrick’s Athletic have a good recent record against Dundalk and particularly at Oriel Park, including winning the match in March between the sides. Stephen O’Flynn and John Russell gave the Saints the points that night and they would be thankful for a similar outcome on Monday night.
For the match itself, Pat’s will be without Mark Rossiter through injury while Kenny Browne will miss out following his dismissal against Bray Wanderers on Friday night and Darren Meenan will also be absent as he was given his marching orders following a heated incident in the second half of the same match.
Referee: Paul Tuite
Dundalk will be looking for their first home victory against Pat’s since their last win all the way back in November 1998. Incidentally Liam Buckley was also manager that day.
Pat’s have won their last five meetings between the sides at Oriel Park. The last time the Lilywhites picked up anything against the Saints at home was a 0-0 draw in October 2009.
Pat’s are looking for their ninth win in eleven games against Dundalk and fifth in the last seven meetings.
Liam Buckley will be aiming for his seventh win out of twelve as a manager against Dundalk since his first spell as manager in 1998. Two wins with Pats and four wins with Sporting Fingal.
Dundalk-9/2 Draw-5/2 St. Patrick’s Athletic-8/13
The Saints will be looking to get their title challenge back on track and Dundalk will be looking to re-energise their battle against relegation, an entertaining score draw. 1-1.
Dundalk injury news: Liam Burns
Dundalk suspension news: Chris Shields and Stephen Maher
St. Patrick’s Athletic injury news: Mark Rossiter
St. Patrick’s Athletic suspension news: Darren Meenan and Kenny Browne