The visitors, meanwhile, could move as high as third in the table with a victory.
Having finished in eighth place last season, albeit 12 points clear of the relegation playoff spot in the end, Drogheda appear set for a more intense relegation battle this time around.
Four straight victories for Cork City – including one against Drogheda earlier this month – saw Kevin Doherty’s side fall into the bottom two ahead of their home match against third-placed St Patrick’s Athletic last week.
Yet the Drogs managed to defy the form table by securing a crucial victory courtesy of Darragh Markey’s injury-time winner, which moved his side above Cork and Sligo Rovers up to seventh in the table.
With Sligo only behind them due to alphabetical order – the two sides have an entirely identical record, which is quite astonishing after 20 matches played – and Cork two points back, though, Doherty and his players cannot afford to take their foot off the gas.
Dundalk, meanwhile, appear unlikely to win their 15th Irish Premier Division title this season having fallen 10 points behind league leaders Shamrock Rovers.
Reigning champions Shamrock are the only team to have won more top-flight titles than Dundalk in Irish history, with the Lilywhites triumphing on five occasions between 2014 and 2019.
Two third-placed finishes in the last three campaigns illustrate that Dundalk very much remain one of the nation’s stronger teams, and after winning their last two matches, they will travel to Weavers Park full of confidence on Friday.
With 15 league games of the season still remaining, there is plenty of potential for more twists and turns for Stephen O’Donnell’s side, who will expect to dispatch lower-ranked opponents once again.
Drogheda United League of Ireland Premier form:
Dundalk League of Ireland Premier form:
We say: Drogheda United 1-2 Dundalk
Dundalk have beaten the bottom two teams in the division in their last two matches, and we can envisage them having some joy against another relegation-threatened opponent on Friday.
Drogheda will feel confident that they have enough about themselves to avoid the dreaded drop this season, but Doherty’s side do appear set for a real dog-fight.