UCD will host Shelbourne boosted by draws with champions Shamrock Rovers and in-form Drogheda United in recent weeks.
A win for the Students would put them within three points of the Reds, who secured their first win in three fixtures against Monaghan last week.
UCD have doubts over Chris Mulhall (groin), Sean Russell (back), Ger Barron (foot) and Tomas Boyle (back), but their manager Martin Russell is eager to face Shels.
He said: "We look forward to Shelbourne on our home grounds, and we look to put our best foot forward, we know that Shels are going to come to win.
"All their squad will be looking to do well. It has been a competitive league so far, and this game will be fought in a similar vein."
Shelbourne operate once again minus Lorcan Fitzgerald and Stephen Hurley through injury but have no suspensions.
Their coach Alan Mathews said: "It’s the next challenge. They’ve had a good start to the season.
"Going out to Belfield is always difficult. If we play like we did [in the Monaghan match] and show the character that we’ve shown - we’ll be OK."