by P.J. Murray
ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
St Pats are squaring up for the first of two games against UCD in the next four days as the sides are due to face off on Saturday in the FAI Cup.
Pats are looking to maintain a 12 game unbeaten run which has seen them leap-frog Sligo Rovers into pole position.
The Pats manager has been handed a boost with a clean bill of health ahead of the visit of the students. There were no injuries during or after Pats’ 2-0 win over Bohemians on Friday night. Buckley spoke to stpatsfc.com ahead of the game and the manager spoke of the challenge facing him.
“UCD have had a tremendous month of results lately. They’ve beaten Shamrock Rovers, Derry, Bohemians and had a great win against Dundalk on Friday. They are no pushovers and Martin Russell has them playing well and passing the ball well. That being said, we’re in good form too so it really does augur well for a good game of football.”
Defensively, Pats are one of the meanest in the league when it comes to leaking goals. Buckley’s team have kept ten clean sheets so far this season. The Super Saints are coming into the game after a clinical 2-0 win against Bohemians on Friday night. Christy Fagan opened the scoring before Killian Brennan netted from the penalty spot.
Squad management will be a big test for Buckley as his side face into a very hectic fixture period over the next few days, but a win on Tuesday night would set it nicely up for Saturday.
The Students are showing title winning form at the moment, but they are still in the bottom half of the table. Martin Russell’s side would undoubtedly take three points over cup progression as they would have every chance of snatching something over the next two games.
The Students put in an impressive display to come from behind and defeat the high flying Dundalk 3-2 at Oriel Park on Friday night. David McMillan and Robbie Benson both got on the scoreesheet as the duo continue to bang in the goals for The Students.
We are currently at exam time and UCD boss Martin Russell feels that this is the type of test his squad enjoys.
"St Pats are on top of the league with a title challenging squad, it's the type of game players join UCD to be involved in. It represents a real test and invaluable experience."
Martin Russell has a the same squad as Friday night to select from, there are still injuries to Robbie Creevy, Ger Barron, Mick Leahy, Sean Russell and Tomas Boyle.
The Students will also be looking to avenge a 1-0 defeat earlier in the season when Anthony Flood was the difference between the teams as UCD finished with ten-men.
David McMillan has scored four in three goals for UCD at the moment, he’s bagged three braces also. Robbie Benson has three in three.
UCD haven’t won at Richmond since 2001, when Martin Russell was playing for Pats
Pats have only conceded three first-half goals all season.
St Pats 3/10, Draw 4/1, UCD 8/1
It won’t be as one sided as the odds suggest, I think another 1-0 win for Pats
ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
Injured: Robbie Creevy, Ger Barron, Mick Leahy, Sean Russell and Tomas Boyle.