It's a battle of the league champions as SSE Airtricity League champions St Patrick's Athletic host last year's First Division winners Athlone Town in Richmond Park on Friday night, kick-off 7.45pm.
Both sides go into Friday's game in contrasting form – the Saints on a run of four successive league wins in a row, while Athlone still seek their first league points of the season after nine successive defeats to date.
The clash between the sides is a meeting of Liam Buckley's side against the club that he began his managerial career with. Buckley admitted to stpatsfc.com that he will always be an admirer of the Midlanders due to the fact that they gave him his first job in the League of Ireland.
“Athlone are a great club and it's fantastic to see them back in the Premier Divison of the SSE Airtricity League. There are some great people involved in the club so I hope they can have a great season,” Buckley said.
Despite the good sentiment though, Buckley spoke of the focus in the Saints' squad to continue their winning run on Friday. “We're on a good run at the moment in the league so we just want to continue that. We'd two good wins on the bounce recently in the games against Bohemians and Drogheda so we're looking to keep this good momentum going.”
In team news, Buckley welcomes Kenny Browne back into the fold after the Waterford born centre back served a one match ban. Fellow defender Ken Oman though will sit out the game as he recovers from a back injury – otherwise Buckley is hopeful of having a full squad to select from.
|11||St. Patrick's Athletic||11||9|
|12||Galway United FC||10||8|