Victory for Sporting Fingal tonight against UCD will put Liam Buckley’s side top of the table (kick-off 7.45pm).
Ger O’Brien is suspended for Sporting, while Gary O’Neill (groin) and Stephen Paisley (chest) will undergo pre-match fitness tests.
Manager Liam Buckley said: “This is the first game back from the summer break and we’ve used that period to work on certain aspects of our play, especially from an attacking perspective, in training.
“We know plenty about UCD, having played them last season in the First Division, as well as this term at Belfield in the reverse fixture.
“All of those games were tight, with not more than one goal between the teams, and this contest should be no different. We’re the home side and I expect us to take the game to them.”
UCD must plan without influential midfielder Greg Bolger as he is serving a suspension.
Paul O'Conor has been promoted from the UCD LSL squad to the senior team and is likely to be involved this evening.
Russell said: “We've put the free time to good use on and off the training ground. Some of our lads were combining exams with professional football so it's been an opportunity for them to chill out.
“It's given us the chance to attend to a couple of minor knocks in the treatment room too.”