“We have had an indifferent start to the season but have picked up a few good results in recent games. But we are under no illusions, going to a never easy venue facing an in-form team,” said Dunne.
“St Pat’s have recently gone to Derry and won, travelled to Sligo and should have won, as well as a great victory at home to Shamrock Rovers.”
Dunne will not select his side until the last minute with injury worries for Dan Murray and John Dunleavy. Teenager Eoghan Murphy is added to the squad.
The Inchicore men can narrow the gap on leaders Sligo Rovers to a single point with a win and after five wins and five draws in their 10 match programme to date, must quietly fancy their chances. Manager Liam Buckley must plan without the injured James Chambers and Mark Rossiter, while midfielder Greg Bolger is suspended.
After last week’s narrow 3-2 defeat by Cork at Turner’s Cross, Dundalk are hoping to get back to winning ways when they host improving Bray Wanderers at Oriel Park (7.45pm).
“Considering we started with eight teenagers, I thought we were excellent against Cork. It was a baptism of fire for the young squad,” said Dundalk boss Sean McCaffrey.
Skipper Chris Shields returns after a two-match ban to play against his former Bray colleagues. The Seagulls have both Shane O’Connor and Adam Mitchell back from injury.
“We picked up three valuable points when beating Bohemians 2-1 last week although we have played better and lost,” said Bray boss Pat Devlin.
Unbeaten in their last five visits to Oriel Park, Devlin knows it will still be a difficult assignment but remains “hopeful” of a good result.
After recent draws against high-flying Drogheda United and Shamrock Rovers, UCD boss Martin Russell will be hoping to go one better when the Students entertain Shelbourne at the Belfield Bowl (7.45pm). Shelbourne will again be without the injured Lorcan Fitzgerald and Stephen Hurley with manager Alan Matthews relying on the same squad as saw off bottom club Monaghan United 2-1 at Tolka Park last week.
Bohemians, in ninth place, will have their work cut out when they host Drogheda United at Dalymount Park (7.45pm).