A rejuvenated UCD take on title challengers St. Patricks in Belfield on Monday evening, kick off 7.45pm.
Pete Mahon’s side know it is their last chance to remain in this season’s thrilling race for the League but following Friday’s draw with Bohemians, the likelihood of the title heading to Inchicore is now extremely unlikely.
The Students ended Bohs’ title aspirations last week and followed that impressive win up with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Dundalk on Friday.
Martin Russell’s men have oozed confidence since confirming their place in next year’s top flight and they are unbeaten in their last 4 games at the Bowl in the League. Monday’s game will provide the young UCD with yet another firm test but you can be sure that Russell’s charges will be up for the challenge.
St. Pats are currently in fourth and one point behind Derry. Three points for the Super Saints in Belfield would move them ahead of Derry and up to third but the Candy Stripes would have two games in hand on the Inchicore club.
A win nonetheless would pile the pressure on Derry and also on the top two Shamrock Rovers and Sligo. Pete Mahon’s men came out 3-1 winners in this season’s previous encounter at the Bowl.
Long term absentee Ciaran Nangle remains side lined with a shin injury and is likely to miss the remaider of the season. Cillian Morrison (hip) and Sean Harding (groin) and Robbie Creevy (unavailable) are all also out.
Speaking ahead of the game, UCD boss Martin Russell is optimistic. “We will try and maintain recent good form against an in form St. Pat’s team who will be looking to continue their title push.”
Pete Mahon should have a full strength squad to pick from for this pivotally important game but former Student, Dave McMillan will miss the game as he has a hamstring injury.
McMillan scored one of the goals of the season when the two sides met back in August during an entertaining 2-2 draw at Richmond Park.
Prediction: It is a tough one to call as UCD’s home form has been superb and with the Students nothing but pride to play for then they will be dangerous. Pats should have the quality, experience and determination to come out on top though. 2-1 Pats.