Date: 7:45 p.m. March 11, 2011
Venue: The UCD Bowl
Ref: Graham Kelly
Att: 550 (est)
The Students are barely recognisable from last year, with no fewer than eleven players departing the club over the winter break. Manager Martin Russell sees the bright side though, arguing that it allows him to give some of the club's exciting youth prospects a chance. Russell has changed around the team completely since the Leinster Senior Cup match against Athlone Town on Monday, which he viewed as another opportunity to look at new players.
“With the A League not yet up and running it allowed me to provide an opportunity for fringe players who didn’t make the team that won the opening League game the previous Friday" said Russell. "It also gave me a chance to review my options prior to Friday’s visit of Derry City to the Bowl."
Derry may have lost their opening match, but their manager Stephen Kenny draws positives from the defeat. "We didn't play badly last week - there were a lot of good things to come out of our performance," said Kenny. "We were pleased with what we did and it was a real sickener to concede a late goal in the manner that we did."
For the visit to UCD, though, Kenny is setting his sights on a win. "The challenge is to go to Dublin and win - we'll need to fight all the way and be determined to get a result. We are not so fragile that one defeat will knock our morale and we know that there wasn't much between the teams when we played Sligo." But Kenny realises that College will be no pushovers: "We're looking to bounce back from that defeat but we realise that UCD have a good record against every team at Belfield."
Ruadhri Higgins is a doubt for the Candystripes due to an injury to his thigh muscle, while Kevin Deery and James McClean will definitely miss out. For UCD, starlet Robbie Benson is still struggling for match fitness.
Doubtful: Robbie Benson.
Injured: Kevin Deery, James McClean.
Doubtful: Ruaidhri Higgins.
Referee: Graham Kelly.
Paddypower.com Odds: UCD 2/1 - Draw 11/5 - Derry City 13/10.
Extratime.ie Prediction: 1-1 Draw.