- Thursday June 23rd, 2016 @ 15:29
Team News: Dundalk Vs St Patrick's Athletic (FRIDAY, 7.45pm)
St Patrick's Athletic travel north on the M1 to face league champions Dundalk as they return to SSE Airtricity League action with a game in Oriel Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
After a three week break since the Saints' last league fixture, the Inchicore side will be looking to resume their campaign with a win against Stephen Kenny's side.
In the two previous meetings between the sides this season, both away sides claimed victories as Dundalk defeated the Saints 4-0 in Richmond Park back in March, while a Rory Feely goal separated the sides when Pat's defeated Dundalk in the EA Sports Cup in April.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com before Friday's league game, Saints' manager Liam Buckley outlined that both players and management were looking to getting back to work in the league following the three week break.
"The break came at a good time for us as we'd a busy schedule with cup games and league games coming on top of each other so it was good for the players to recharge the batteries for a little while, as well as good for one or two players to rest and recover from any knocks and injuries."
"We're all focused now though on facing Dundalk which we know will be a really tough challenge. They played very well in Inchicore early in the year so the players know they have to be at their best. If they can perform to the best of their ability and fight for every ball from the first to last minute, we can get a result as we proved when we won there in the EA Sports Cup only a few weeks ago."
In team news, the Saints remain without the services of young midfielder Jack Bayly who misses out with a thigh strain, while both Republic of Ireland international Keith Treacy and goalkeeper Conor O'Malley face last fitness tests on respective knocks.
Having scored the winning goal in April against Dundalk in the 1-0 EA Sports Cup, a return to Oriel Park is one that young defender Rory Feely is looking forward to. Speaking to stpatsfc.com, the young Kildare native admitted that the break came at a great time for him while the sole focus for Friday's game was getting a result.
"Friday's game is definitely one to look forward to. Playing against the league champions is a huge test, but it's good to get back up there and play as we've got to remember that it went well for us the last day in Oriel Park and we came away with a win. The break gave us the opportunity to rest and personally it was good to have the break after college exams and from the busy schedule we had so I'm raring to go," the first year student at DCU admitted.
"Having played against a lot of their squad in the last fixture between us and Dundalk, they have a lot of quality up front and in midfield so defensively we know we have to keep it tight. If we can do that, there's no reason why we cannot come away with a result."