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Jul 1, 2022 at 7.45pm UK at Oriel Park
Dundalk
3 - 0
UCD
McMillan (51'), Adams (57'), Ward (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Dundalk vs. University College Dublin - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Dundalk vs. University College Dublin - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's League of Ireland Premier clash between Dundalk and University College Dublin, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two sides at opposite ends of the League of Ireland Premier Division table will square off on Friday, as Dundalk host basement team University College Dublin.

A draw last time out saw the home team drop 10 points behind league leaders Shamrock Rovers, while the visitors suffered their 13th league defeat of the season.


Match preview

After seeming to drop out of contention in the race for the League of Ireland Premier Division title, Dundalk put themselves back in the fight with an eye-catching run of form between mid-May and mid-June.

Following back-to-back wins and a disappointing draw with Friday's opponents, Stephen O'Donnell's men put five straight league victories together to climb into second spot, firstly beating Bohemians, Derry City and Finn Harps.

The Lilywhites then narrowly bettered St Patrick's Athletic, before Robbie Benson hit the only goal as they beat league leaders Shamrock Rovers to move closer to the top spot.

That saw them head into a trip to Shelbourne last week hoping to ramp up their pursuit, but O'Donnell's side were unable to break the deadlock and had to settle for a point, falling seven points behind Shamrock Rovers as a result.

With the leaders picking up another victory since Dundalk's last game, the Lilywhites now find themselves 10 points from top spot, albeit with two games in hand, and they will know they have little more room for error if they are to stay in the title fight and will be desperate to return to winning ways on Friday.

They take on a University College Dublin side battling to improve their position at the bottom of the table, having endured a dismal campaign thus far.

Following their promotion back from the second tier, the Students have remained rooted to the foot of the division for the majority of the season, managing just one win and nine points from their opening 20 games.

That lone victory came in mid-May against Finn Harps, and Andrew Myler's side have picked up just a single point in five attempts through a draw with Sligo Rovers.

Following that stalemate, the Students fell to a 2-1 defeat away at St Patrick's Athletic, before being narrowly beaten at home to Derry City last time out, as Will Patching hit the only goal of the game.

Now 13 points adrift of automatic safety, UCD can only focus on climbing off the foot of the table and leapfrogging Finn Harps, who sit three points ahead in the relegation playoff place, and they will look to improve those chances with a positive result on their travels

Dundalk League of Ireland Premier form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Dundalk form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

University College Dublin League of Ireland Premier form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L


Team News

Dundalk could remain without star forward and captain Patrick Hoban, who was absent last time out against Shelbourne after scoring eight goals in his first 19 league appearances of the season.

In his absence, David McMillan led the line, with Daniel Kelly and Steven Bradley operating in the wide areas.

Andy Boyle is a mainstay in defence and will continue to play at the heart of the back line, likely alongside Dundee United loanee Mark Connolly.

University College Dublin are also without their top scorer, as Colm Whelan remains sidelined by an injury.

Centre-back Sam Todd has featured in every minute of league action so far this season, and he will continue to play alongside Jack Keaney in front of 19-year-old goalkeeper Kian Moore.

Dundalk possible starting lineup:
Shepperd; Macari, Connolly, Boyle, Leahy; Sloggett, Doyle; Bradley, Benson, Kelly; McMillan

University College Dublin possible starting lineup:
Moore; Gallagher, Keaney, Todd, Osam; Dignam, Caffrey; Brennan, Keane, Higgins; Duffy


We say: Dundalk 2-0 University College Dublin

Keen to return to winning ways, Dundalk will have their eyes on Friday as a good opportunity to pick up three points, and they should have too much for the visitors.

UCD have struggled to keep pace since returning to the top flight, and we see them being outclassed on their travels.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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