Dundalk could make it ten wins from 11 in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division should they take all three points from Sligo Rovers, who travel to Oriel Park this Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
It’s been a hectic few weeks for the Lilywhites, who after scoring a 90th-minute winner against St Patrick’s Athletic last Friday, proceeded to knock UCD out of the EA Sports Cup just three days later.
“I thought we controlled the game on Monday against UCD,” said Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth.
“We had a lot of positives from the night itself. We had some brilliant performances and we managed to win the game which we wanted to do and we are delighted to get through.”
Perth had the luxury of being able to make wholesale changes to his starting line-up for that cup tie, with fringe players such as reserve goalkeeper Aaron McCarey and Cameron Dummigan impressing.
“The strength and depth of the squad is very strong. We made a number of changes and there was a number of different combinations on the pitch.
“It has been a brilliant run for us over the past few weeks, we have been in good form and we want to keep it going. We want to push on and continue our form.”
Dundalk’s haven’t tasted a league defeat on their home patch since August of last year, a run which has now spanned 13 matches in total, and Perth is looking to add to that number come Friday night.
“Oriel has become a real fortress for us. We want to continue that good home form that we have had against Sligo Rovers.
“It’s not going to be easy but hopefully we can play as close to the best of our ability and go win the game.”
Dundalk will be without the injured trio of Dummigan, Robbie Benson and Jamie McGrath for the visit of Sligo, while Daniel Kelly, John Mountney and Sean Murray are considered doubts to pass fit.
Sligo are also on a decent run of form coming into this fixture, having not lost any of their last seven games – a run that has encompassed three wins and four draws for the team currently in sixth place.
Two goals from Jamaican international Romeo Parkes saw them record an impressive 2-1 win over Bohemians at Dalymount Park, but league leaders Dundalk represent a far more daunting challenge.
“Dundalk is a very hard game for every side in the league, especially away from home,” said Liam Buckley.
“Fight and desire has been the backbone of what we’ve done so far and in fairness to the lads they’ve worked extremely hard.
“Whether we are under the radar is something I don’t consider, but what is happening is we are fundamentally getting better and improving.
“We are halfway through the season but it remains a work in progress because we are trying to gel it together. By no means do we get carried away because you’re 90 minutes away from a defeat.
“We have to maintain all the attributes I’ve spoken about. We got a draw earlier in the season. Dundalk have a good squad of players. Their ambition would be to win.
“From our end we go there looking give a good account of ourselves and to get a result.”
Dante Leverock, who suffered with concussion in the win over Bohs, is unavailable for this encounter as he is off on international duty to captain his native Bermuda at this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Niall Morahan returns from injury, but both Regan Donelon and Johnny Dunleavy are rated doubtful.
Referee: Robert Rogers.
This will be the 232nd competitive meeting between Dundalk and Sligo Rovers. The Lilywhites have emerged victorious on 107 of those occasions, while Sligo have now won 72 times since the first encounter in 1934.
The Bit O’Red last won at Oriel Park in October 2016 when goals from Achille Campion, Philp Roberts and Raffaele Cretaro saw them record a shock 3-0 win over the eventual champions.
Sligo are the only Premier Division club that Vinny Perth has yet to beat as Dundalk head coach. Sligo held the Lilywhites to a scoreless draw in February before beating them 2-1 at the Showgrounds in April.
Dundalk 1/4; Draw 5/1; Sligo Rovers 12/1
Dundalk 2-0 Sligo Rovers
Injured: Robbie Benson, Cameron Dummigan, Jamie McGrath.
Doubtful: Daniel Kelly, John Mountney, Sean Murray.
Injured: Dante Leverock.
Doubtful: Regan Donelon, Johnny Dunleavy.