The Boynesiders face a big four weeks in their season, their main goals being to get to November 3rd with a fully fit squad.
Although Drogheda will want to go to the Aviva on the back of a few wins, their league position won’t reflect their pre-season goals and as such the UCD game should afford Mick Cooke a chance to give some of the fringe players a run out.
At the moment there are only slight concerns about David Cassidy and Derek Prendergast while everyone else boasts a clean bill of health.
Drogheda stopped a three game losing streak with a 2-2 draw away to Shels, before winning arguably the biggest Louth derby in modern history when they defeated Dundalk to book a place in the FAI Cup final.
Speaking ahead of the game Drogheda Assistant Manager Robbie Horgan spoke about the need for man-management over the next few weeks, “The next three games are going to be big for us, we have no real suspensions or injuries at the moment and we need to manage that for the cup-final. There is an opportunity for some players to play themselves into the starting XI for the final, so we will be hoping to see some good performances over the next few weeks. ”
On the game itself Horgan expects a good crowd and an equally difficult test,” A win for UCD would see them all but secure safety for next season and when you're down there you want to move away as much as possible.
“They are a good team and have always been well setup, games between us have been good affairs and we expect that to continue. There's a real good buzz around the club at the moment,” he added.
The Student’s aren’t safe yet, but it’s tough to see them being dragged into the bottom two, with a six point gap a point would mean that Bray need to win all three games remaining to leap-frog UCD, assuming the Students don’t pick up another point.
The Student’s travel to Drogheda on the back of a 3-1 defeat to t Pats at Bellfield, Robbie Benson got on the scoresheet, but it was a poor performance from Russell’s team which saw Pats gifted the win. Two errors from Mark McGinley cost his side dearly.
It marked three defeats on the bounce for College, but a purple patch earlier in the season should be enough to see them retain their top flight status for next season.
Martin Russell will have to deal with a raft of injuries and suspensions to his young side, Robbie Creevey is suspended while Gareth Matthews, Hugh Douglas, Cillian Morrison, Barry McCabe and Tomas Boyle are all injured.
Speaking ahead of the game the UCD manager was in complimentary form, "Mick Cooke and Drogheda deserve great credit for reaching another cup final. We have been hit by injuries and a suspension of late which will see us using the full extent of our squad in our attempts to stay in Premier Division football."
The sides have met twice this season, UCD have yet to win a game. With one Drogheda victory and a draw at the Bellfield Bowl.
Gavin Brennan has scored three goals in the last 2 games, a penalty in both games.
UCD haven’t won since the second of August, they beat Bohs away from home.
Drogheda United 3/4, Draw 13/5, UCD 10/3
This could be a draw, Drogheda will have a changed team and UCD will have the impetus to get points, 2-2
Doubtful: David Cassidy, Derek Prendergast
Injured: Gareth Matthews, Hugh Douglas, Cillian Morrison, Barry McCabe and Tomas Boyle
Suspended: Robbie Creevey