League Preview: UCD -v- Finn Harps

Fri, Jul 05 2019

UCD's Mark Dignam in action against Cork City Credit: David Ribeiro (ETPhotos)

UCD

The Students have a great opportunity to claw their four-point deficit back at the bottom of the Premier Division when they host a resurgent Finn Harps at the UCD Bowl on Friday evening (kick-off is at 7.45pm).

Collie O’Neill’s side are in the midst of a rotten twelve game losing streak which has left them rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division table.

After falling to a heavy 5-1 defeat to Sligo Rovers last time out and being only able to name four substitutes, squad depth has become a major worry for the Students.

This has been heightened by the departures of Gary O’Neill, Neil Farrugia and Conor Davis in recent days.

Ireland under-21 defender Liam Scales is also widely expected to depart the Belfield based outfit for Bristol Rovers imminently so his involvement on Friday evening is questionable.

The Students have averaged just 14 goals all season while they have conceded a leaky 40 already, with Premier Division forwards profiting from a lack of experience at times.

UCD have not released any official team news.

FINN HARPS

Fresh off the back of four points from a possible six, Finn Harps will be looking for their first win away from home all season when they face UCD at the UCD Bowl.

Harps came out on top in a comfortable three-nil win success last time they faced the Students but Harps boss Ollie Horgan is expecting a tougher challenge from Collie O’Neill’s side this evening.

“UCD will be a big threat to us after losing 5-1 to Sligo on Monday night. They are a much better side than that result.

“Last Friday night St. Pat’s who are way ahead of us in the table just got a 1-0 at Belfield. We are no world beaters just because we managed a win and draw from the last two games.

“Our lads are going to have to up their game a hell of lot because Collie O’Neill will have his players really sharp tomorrow night.”

“Gary O'Neill and Neil Farrugia have gone to Shamrock Rovers and Conor Davis signed for Derry last weekend. If our players think that is going to make it easier for us then we will be turned over tomorrow night.

“Paul Doyle, Liam Scales, Jason McClelland and Yoyo Mahdy have quality and I have no doubt that Collie O’Neill has some new lads coming in who will be eager to impress so we have to guard against complacency.”

In terms of team news, Ciaran and Michael Gallagher both miss out with injury while Raffaele Cretaro is rated as a doubt.

Referee: Robert Rogers.

 

MATCH STATS

UCD have lost their previous 12 games on the spin, with their last win coming at the UCD Bowl against Cork City in April.

Finn Harps are winless away from home so far this season. Harps have only picked up three points so far this year on their travels – all have come from draws.

The Students won the last cash between the sides at the UCD Bowl with a comfortable three-nil win over their Co. Donegal opposition.

BETTING

UCD 16/5; Draw 13/5; Finn Harps 4/5.

PREDICTION

UCD 0 - 2 Finn Harps.

 

UCD

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: Unavailable.

 

Finn Harps

Injured: Michael Gallagher, Ciaran Gallagher.

Doubtful: Raffaele Cretaro.

Suspended: None.