The Scholars host the Saints TONIGHT as Liam Buckley's side travel to the Belfield Bowl to face UCD as they look to extend their three point lead at the top of the Airtricity League, kick-off 7.45pm.
With the Students only five points above the bottom two sides in the Premier Division, both sides require the points for their respective league aspirations.
The Saints recent league record against Martin Russell's side has been impressive of late, with Liam Buckley's side having recorded four wins and a draw in the manager's second spell with the Inchicore side.
The games however between the sides in the Belfield Bowl have been tight affairs, the Saints claiming a 1-0 win back in April thanks to an Anto Flood goal, while UCD earned a 1-1 draw in the mid-season clash last season – Robbie Benson pegging back a first half goal from Chris Forrester.
“Last week was a good win for us against Bray Wanderers,” Buckley told stpatsfc.com. “I thought we were a bit tired from the Dundalk game the week before and Bray came on strong in the end. But Christy Fagan got a great goal at the end of it to wrap it up so it was a good three points in the end.”
“We've had a little bit longer to recover from the Bray game this week and now we're all really looking forward to the UCD game. There are never any easy games at the end of any season so our approach is to just take it one game at a time and prepare as best as possible for each one.”
In team news, Stephen Maher remains out for the rest of the season with a broken leg while Buckley has mixed news on the suspension front. The Saints will be without of both Daryl Kavanagh and Killian Brennan as both serve a one match ban, though Kenny Browne returns having missed the 3-1 win away to Bray Wanderers through suspension.
For the returning Browne, the remaining league games has all the Saints' squad in high spirits with competition for places being tougher than ever as he looks to get back in to a winning side which saw Aidan Price step in for him last week. Browne admitted to stpatsfc.com that watching the game is the stand wasn't an enjoyable experience.
“Yeah to be honest last week was probably as nervous as I ever was for a game since I've been at the club as I was watching it in the stand! But listen the lads did a great job, got a great win, and now we're all really excited and can't wait for Friday. We've a few suspensions this week again, but anyone who has come in recently have really been on top form so everyone really is chipping in for us at present.”
“It has been a longer week waiting for the UCD game to come around so everyone's raring to go. It's a massive game for us, we all know that. UCD will go out and play football and they never play for a draw either so it's really up to us. We know what we have to do so we're just excited to go out and there and do it.”
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