Dundalk will be looking to build on an impressive performance in Tallaght when they welcome newly promoted Galway United to Oriel Park on Friday night.

Stephen O’Donnell’s new-look side went toe-to-toe with Shamrock Rovers on the opening night and made the journey home with a well-earned point.

Jamie Gullan, who was one of six players to make their debut for the club, opened his account with a stunning first-half free-kick but it was cancelled out by Aaron Greene’s second-half header.

The result, coupled with the team’s hard-working display, was hugely appreciated by the large travelling support and the mood around Dundalk in the build-up to the Lilywhites’ first home game of the campaign has been hugely positive.

This is the first top-flight meeting between Dundalk and Galway United since 2017 but the sides did meet last September when the Tribesmen battered the Lilywhites 4-0 in an FAI Cup quarter-final tie at Eamonn Deacy Park that few at Oriel Park will want to remember.

Galway, who ran away with the First Division title last year, saw their return to the Premier Division dampened with a 1-0 defeat at home to St Patrick’s Athletic, but they boast players with lots of experience in their ranks, such as Brendan Clarke, Karl O’Sullivan and Garry Buckley.

Like Buckley, manager John Caulfield and captain Conor McCormack were synonymous with Cork City during their bitter rivalry with Dundalk and all three will no doubt relish the prospect of another duel with old foes on enemy ground.

Dundalk won 10, drew five and lost just three league games at Oriel Park last season and a good result on the Carrick Road on Friday night would turn a promising start into a very good start.

Team News
Dutch midfielder Koen Oostenbrink misses out with a niggle but elsewhere Stephen O’Donnell has a fully fit squad at his disposal.

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Quotes – Stephen O’Donnell
“We know that Galway are going to be very physical, very fit and very well organised, in and out of possession, and they will be a big threat at set pieces.

“They beat us well in the FAI Cup quarter-final last season so they’ll be quite confident coming up here.

“From our point of view, it’s still very early regarding our understanding of each other and how long the group’s been together.

“I was very happy with our set-up against Shamrock Rovers last week. The layer we want to add to that is the more intricate things and being in control when we have possession.

“There’s been a mood of optimism around the town this week and hopefully, there’s a big crowd at Oriel on Friday night.

“I keep going back to 2013 but there was an edge and a hunger around the club – and the town. We felt like we were the underdogs and we need to try and get that feeling back.

“In comparison to where the club was five or six years ago, we’re making our way back up the mountain and we need to fight and scrap for every point and bit of success we get.”

Quotes – Scott High
“We’ve got a new group of lads and we’re all trying to gel together and adapt to the gaffer’s style but I enjoyed last Friday night.

“We grafted and we battled well against a team that has won the league for the past four seasons but I think we’ve got more in our locker.

“It’s our first home game and we’re looking forward to getting out in front of the fans. Hopefully, they can be our 12th man and push us on to get the three points.”

Match Officials
Referee: Gavin Colfer
Assistants: Robert Clarke and Wayne McDonnell
Fourth Official: Damien MacGraith