St Patrick's Athletic return to SSE Airtricity League action for their second game in four days when they travel to Oriel Park to face Dundalk (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Saints head into the game off the back of a 2-2 draw last Friday at home to Bohemian FC, but will be encouraged by their recent performances against the Lilywhites. In March, Pat's shared the points with Dundalk after a 0-0 draw in Inchicore, while earlier this month, the sides drew 4-4 after extra-time in their EA Sports Cup Second Round clash, with Dundalk eventually taking the victory 8-7 on penalties.
In team news, the Saints will be without midfielder Ryan Brennan through suspension following his dismissal against Bohemians on Friday, while manager Liam Buckley must assess the fitness of several players. In positive news for Pat's, Drogheda native Thomas Byrne made his first senior appearance for the club in coming off the bench last Friday.
"I thought for the first 50 minutes of the game on Friday, there was only one team in the ascendancy and that was us," Buckley said when speaking to stpatsfc.com. "We started both halves really well with early goals, but unfortunately the sending off changed the game. Bohs were able to dominate possession after that and unfortunately we just couldn't see it out."
"The players put in a huge effort and I was proud of their effort and commitment to get the result. Unfortunately though, we were dealt a sucker punch at the end."
Looking ahead to Monday's meeting against Dundalk, Buckley cited the quick turnaround as a factor in preparation for the game. "We have no time to dwell on the Bohs result as the focus is now on facing Dundalk on Monday evening. We will go through the normal process as we always do for games with a quick turnaround so the players will look to recover properly and we will be aiming to be right for kick-off on Monday."
"We have faced Dundalk twice this season and they've both finished in draws over 90 minutes. Stephen [Kenny] has added a lot of quality to his squad for this season so Dundalk will be strong whatever selections he makes. We have had a chance to see the video from their game last Friday against Cork and there was nothing in it."
"Dundalk will test us once again but we go there knowing we can compete against them and if we apply ourselves properly, there's no reason why we cannot get a result."
For Saints' midfielder Darragh Markey, the challenge of facing Dundalk is one he is relishing as he continues his good run of appearances in the Pat's first team having come through the club's U19 ranks to the first team.
"We have little time to get ready for Dundalk as the nature of the league is a lot of games in a short period of time. So our preparation has more been about recovery in terms of eating properly as trying to get as much energy back into the legs as possible," former Cherry Orchard man Markey told stpatsfc.com.
"It is great being in the first team. Development is the main thing for me as I am still young. I am really enjoying things at the moment and being involved in Dublin derbies like the other night against Bohemians and this upcoming game against Dundalk are great to be involved in."
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