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City travel to Richmond Park tomorrow night to meet another of the league’s in from sides, St Patrick’s Athletic. The Saints have won their last four games in a row, including last week victory over league leaders, Sligo Rovers.
City of course are unbeaten since the opening day of the season and will be hoping to extend this run tomorrow night in Inchicore.
City of course defeated St Pats in last year’s FAI Cup Final and also defeated the Saints in the final league game of last season. However Declan Devine’s team suffered a heavy three nil reverse at the venue in September last year and the manager is very alert to the danger that tomorrow’s opponents pose.
“I have been down to watch St Pats a number of times over the last couple of weeks and I feel that Liam has put together a great squad and the additions of both Killian Brennan and Conan Byrne have added to their attacking options.”
The manager has seen his side show impressive form since the opening day defeat to Sligo Rovers and spoke on this weeks RTÉ Monday Night Soccer about his pleasure at the progress of the side so far this season. Ahead of tomorrow night’s game, the thoughts of the manager were very much in a similiar vein
“We are all really looking forward to this game as we know it will be a great test of our character and we will be able to judge how far we have come since the start of the season.
I have no doubt that tomorrow’s game will be a very exciting and entertaining game of football and one that could go either way. Both teams will be full of confidence after recent results, but I know our lads will be up for it and hopefully we can keep our good run of form going.”
City will be missing the long term absentees of Stewart Greacen, Kevin Deery and Sean Houston. Paddy Kavanagh was forced out of the Rovers game and is expected to be missing for a couple of games, with Patrick McEleney likely to be restored to a spot on the winger. The youngster started on the bench last week but replaced Kavanagh early in the game and provided a pin point cross for Barry McNamee for the opener last week.
Devine does welcome back Shane McEleney after his one match ban and his presence is a boost to a defence which has conceded only four goals all season, and only one away from home.
Up front, Devine will again look to Patterson and Rafter to provide the firepower, although neither were on the scoresheet last week against Shamrock Rovers. Barry McNamee has three goals from three games and is will likely again start on the flank, drifting inside to provide support.
St Pats, who announced a new shirt sponsor today, will be keen to put on show for their home fans after last week’s televised victory over Sligo. A win for the home side will cut the gap between City and Pats to a single point, with the Saints having a match in hand. Both sides however will be striving to ensure that they don’t fall further behind Sligo at the top of the table.
Friday night is League of Ireland night, and tomorrow is shaping up to be quite the tussle.