Longford Town welcome Drogheda United to the City Calling Stadium on Saturday evening for their first home game of the season (kick-off 7.45pm).
Longford were embroiled in a tense play-off push against the Boynesiders last season, where Tim Clancy’s side came up trumps in a fiercely contested fight for the last remaining spot.
Much has happened since for De Town with many new faces coming in through the door at the Strokestown Road venue while there has also been plenty of departures.
Michael Kelly, Daniel O’Reilly and Dylan McGlade have all moved on to pastures new while Sam Verdon has performed a shock u-turn after a brief spell up in Co Donegal with Finn Harps.
Conor Kenna and Paul O’Conor have moved in to help fill the void for Neale Fenn’s side while Anto Breslin and Aaron Dobbs look destined to excite the midlanders’ passionate support.
Town had a scoreless draw away to recently relegated Limerick last week despite dominating proceedings for vast swathes of the game at the Markets Field.
Fenn handed out no fewer than six debuts last week as he looks to find his best starting eleven early on.
He will be able to call upon the services of Verdon once more following his return to the club this week while Jamie Hollywood could be intention to return after a long spell on the sidelines.
Carlton Ubaezuonu and Kevin Knight have been ruled out of Saturday night’s encounter at the City Calling Stadium thanks to injury.
Drogheda United will be hoping to keep a firm stranglehold on top spot in the First Division when they travel to Longford on Saturday evening.
Drogheda comfortably disposed of a beleaguered Cobh Ramblers last time out with goals from Mark Doyle, Adam Wixted and Chris Lyons sending the Drogs on their way to an easy win.
However, much of the headlines from the game revolved around Cobh Rambler’s lucklessness with both on and off the field matters severely hurting Stephen Henderson’s side’s cause.
Last time Drogheda faced Longford they ran out 2-1 winners over De Town with a double from Gareth McCaffrey all but securing the Boynesiders place in the Playoffs in September.
However, United had a rather frustrating night on their last visit to the City Calling Stadium when they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Longford thanks to a Sam Verdon goal in June 2018.
Clancy must do without the services of Jake Hyland, who continues his recovery from a broken leg, while defender Kevin Farragher is a doubt for Saturday night’s encounter.
Referee: Michael Connolly.
Longford have failed to win any of their first home league games of the season since 2013.
That win came against Waterford United as David O’Sullivan’s winner in first half stoppage time sent the Longford support home happy.
Drogheda’s last win away to Longford was in 2013 in a 3-2 FAI Cup classic at the City Calling Stadium.
The then Mick Cooke-managed Drogs eventually made the final of the FAI Cup that year before losing to Sligo Rovers in an unforgettable Aviva Stadium showdown.
Longford have plenty of ex-Drogheda United representation in their side with Conor Kenna, Shane Elworthy and Jamie Hollywood all formerly of the United Park outfit.
The Boynesiders, on the other hand, have two ex-Longford players. Paul Skinner and Mark Hughes were previously of the red and black of the midlands in recent years.
Longford Town 6/4; Draw 21/10; Drogheda United 8/5.
Longford Town 1-0 Drogheda United
Injured: Carlton Ubaezuonu, Kevin Knight.
Injured: Jake Hyland.
Doubtful: Kevin Farragher.