Dundalk to learn their European fate before taking on Galway

The 11am draw at Uefa headquarters in Nyon this morning will reveal to Dundalk whether they will be travelling to Nicosia, Pilsen, Warsaw, Salzburg or Glasgow to contest the away leg of their Champions League play-off game.
Dundalk to learn their European fate before taking on Galway

But, before they head for foreign fields again, the only marginally less exotic destination of Galway awaits this evening as the heroes from Tallaght on Tuesday night turn their attention back to the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League.

Six points clear of Cork City having played one game more, Dundalk will be keen to show that their headline-grabbing exploits in Europe have not distracted them from the task of defending their domestic title, even if Tuesday’s stunning 3-0 victory over BATE Borisov did take its toll on the players.

In the aftermath of the game, manager Stephen Kenny counted the cost: “Andy Boyle got a kick on the back, Ronan Finn has a groin injury, Steven O’Donnell came down on his elbow — it popped out and got put back in — so I am thinking we are up against it on Friday and we have to prepare well.”

Brian Gartland, of course, is still out with a broken wrist but his replacement in Tallaght, Paddy Barrett, suggests no-one at Dundalk is bothered about the side’s increasingly hectic schedule and the resultant backlog in games.

“Ah look, it’s a good headache for the club, the gaffer and the players to have and that’s why we have the squad that we do,” he says.

“It feels like a long time since we’ve had a league game and I don’t know if any more of our league games will be moved with the next round in Europe.

“But we’ll see how the games fall and just deal with it because it’s a great problem to have, isn’t it?”

Galway United boss Tommy Dunne reckons Dundalk’s European exploits will only add to the sense of occasion when the champions take on his fifth-placed side at Eamonn Deacy Park tonight.

“I was at the game against BATE in Tallaght Stadium and it was a wonderful performance from them,” he says.

“Everybody at the ground was on their feet at the end. We’re happy for them.

“We’re really looking to the Dundalk game, especially after they secured such a high profile win in Europe. It just shows that if we’re not 100% tuned in, then the quality that Dundalk possess will cause us serious problems. Everybody at the club is relishing the match. It’s an exciting game to look forward to.”

Kick off at Eamonn Deacy Park is at 8pm.

In tonight’s other Premier Division games, it’s Bohemians v Finn Harps, Dalymount Park; Derry City v St Patrick’s Athletic, Brandywell Stadium; Shamrock Rovers v Longford Town, Tallaght Stadium (8pm) and Wexford Youths v Sligo Rovers, Ferrycarrig Park, (8pm).

And in the First Division, it’s Waterford United v Athlone Town, RSC; Cabinteely v Cobh Ramblers, Stradbrook Road; Drogheda United v Limerick, United Park and Shelbourne v UCD, Tolka Park.

Games start at 7.45pm unless otherwise indicated.

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