The Saints are unbeaten in 12 games, but manager Liam Buckley is expecting a tough test against a UCD side that have won four of their last six.
Buckley, who has no injury worries going into the game, said: “UCD have had a tremendous month of results. They’ve beaten Shamrock Rovers, Derry, Bohemians and had a great win against Dundalk on Friday. They are no pushovers and Martin Russell has them playing well.”
UCD have several key players missing, with Mick Leahy, Robbie Creevy, Ger Barron, Tomas Boyle and Sean Russell all sidelined. The sides will meet again in the FAI Cup on Saturday.
Champions Sligo Rovers could retake top spot with a win at home to Dundalk. But after consecutive 0-0 draws against Limerick and Bray,Bit O’Red boss Ian Baraclough is calling on his side to convert their chances.
Lee Lynch is their only fresh absentee after picking up a hamstring strain, with Evan McMillan and Danny North still out.
Dundalk travel west reeling from a 3-2 home defeat to UCD.