Defending champions Drogheda United face current leaders St Patrick's Athletic at United Park this evening knowing that they must not lose further ground if they are to maintain hopes of retaining their title, kick-off 7.45pm.
Paul Doolin's men are currently nine points adrift of the early pacesetters, and following last week's 1-0 reversal away to Bray Wanderers, the United boss knows the club will need to add to their tally of five wins if they are to have serious title ambitions.
However, while acknowledging that Pat's are the team to beat, he insisted that there are plenty of points to play for regardless of tonight's result.
He said: 'There's no denying they've had a great start. They've set the lead for other teams to follow again this year. But it's a long season and there are plenty of points up for grabs.'
Doolin is boosted by the return of Guy Bates and Shaun Maher, although Declan O'Brien and Shane Barrett are expected to join Dan Connor on the absentee list after picking up knocks. Doolin revealed: 'Shaun and Guy are both in full training, but Declan and Shane both have knocks. Brian Shelley is 50/50.'
St Pat's boss Johnny McDonnell will expect a positive response from his charges following the 0-0 draw at UCD last week, although centre-back Joe O'Cearuill could miss out once more after withdrawing from the Republic of Ireland U-23s' victory over their Northern Ireland counterparts on Tuesday.
Noel Haverty impressed at right-back against the Students and is expected to continue, while Bobby Ryan is in contention to start.