Preview: Dundalk vs. St Patrick’s Athletic

Preview: Dundalk vs. St Patrick’s Athletic

Dundalk take on St Patrick’s Athletic at Oriel Park on Monday evening in the latest round of League of Ireland Premier fixtures.

The hosts are fifth in the table, having acquired 35 points from 22 games, while the visitors are up in third place.

Dundalk have struggled with consistency so far this season, but they head into this game in very good form, having won their last three games, most recently running out 2-1 winners away at rivals Drogheda.

Patrick Hoban scored a quick-fire brace in the second half to secure all three points for the Lilywhites, and they could climb into the top three if they pick up another victory on Monday, although they would have to win by a three-goal margin.

Stephen O’Donnell’s side should head into the upcoming game full of confidence after emerging victorious in the Louth Derby, but they do not have the best of recent records against Monday’s opponents, winning just two of the last 11 matches between the two sides.

Earlier this season, Dundalk lost 2-1 away at Richmond Park, despite dominating the vast majority of the possession, with Conor Carty scoring a late winner for the hosts, who were reduced to 10 men at the beginning of the second half.

If the Lilywhites are to take anything from Monday’s game, a much-improved performance will be needed, but they will be buoyed by their very good record at home of late, winning three and drawing two of their last five games at Oriel Park.

St Patrick’s also head into Monday’s game in fantastic form, having won seven of their last nine league matches, most recently defeating Shelbourne 1-0 at home, courtesy of a second-half Jake Mulraney effort.

Having picked up 38 points from 22 games, the Saints are still in a very good position to compete for the title, considering they are just five points behind league-leaders Shamrock Rovers.

Over the last 10 games, only Shamrock Rovers have collected more points than Jon Daly’s side, and the manager will be pleased with the performances since he was appointed as permanent manager in May, but they did succumb to a 2-1 defeat to Drogheda in their last away match.

Although they have the best home record in the division, St Patrick’s form on the road has been a little more patchy, and they have shipped 22 goals away from home, the third-highest amount in the League of Ireland Premier.

If the Saints are to win their first league title since 2013, their away record is one thing they must improve, and they have the perfect opportunity to do just that on Monday night against a side they know they are able to beat.

Dundalk League of Ireland Premier form:

St Patrick’s Athletic League of Ireland Premier form:

We say: Dundalk 2-2 St Patrick’s Athletic
Dundalk’s form has improved considerably in recent weeks, but St Patrick’s have been very impressive under the helm of Daly, so Monday’s encounter is very difficult to call.

Given that the reverse fixture was very closely-contested, we expect the spoils to be shared in what could be a high-scoring game, given the Saints’ poor defensive record on their travels.

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