Dundalk will begin a run of four successive away games on Friday night when they make the trip to the capital to face Bohemians at Dalymount Park.
With third-placed Derry City playing host to league leaders Shamrock Rovers at the same time, a win in Phibsborough would strengthen Dundalk’s push for a European place next season.
“St Pat’s are also playing Sligo on Sunday so it will be a good weekend,” said Dundalk head coach Stephen O’Donnell. “I think it fell like this earlier in the season as well when the teams in the top half all played against each other. We just have to focus on ourselves, not necessarily the result, on the performance and the application.”
This will be the third meeting of the sides this season. In February, goals from Patrick Hoban and Steven Bradley secured Dundalk a 2-2 draw in Dublin before goals from Hoban, his 15th against Bohs, Robbie Benson and Paul Doyle secured a 3-1 win at Oriel Park in May.
The Gypsies have made wholesale changes to their squad over the summer, bringing in nine new players in total, but go into Friday’s game on the back of a late defeat against Sligo Rovers last Sunday.
“It’s a little bit tricky to get a handle on what their starting XI will be, especially after them losing to Sligo last week, but we’ll try and work it out as best we can and then we’ll look after ourselves.
“The players are well aware of the individuals that have come in. A lot of them would have been watching the game last Sunday and will be well aware of them but we’ll be more focused on ourselves and how we go about things.
“They have lots of good offensive players. Bohs are always a team that is capable of beating anyone. With their ability, they feel like they can go toe-to-toe with anyone.”
Friday night’s game will be the 344th time that the clubs have met in a competitive fixture and the 208th league meeting. Dundalk have won 73, drawn 60 and lost 74.
The Lilywhites beat Bohemians 4-1 in an FAI Cup quarter-final tie at Dalymount Park in November 2020 but their last league win at the ground came back in 2019 when Georgie Kelly and Sean Hoare scored in a 2-1 victory. Bohs have won three and drawn two of the subsequent five league matches at Dalyer.
Tickets are still available for the away end and O’Donnell is hoping that the Lilywhite Army will travel in their numbers.
“I don’t think the players can do anymore in regards to working hard for the club and the supporters. I think the supporters see that and hopefully, they can reciprocate them tomorrow night and cheer them on.”
You can listen to Stephen O’Donnell’s full pre-match interview below.