Match Preview: Longford Town v Dundalk

Longford and Dundalk will battle it out in a relegation battle as they look to keep the chase on the pack as the Lilywhites are looking to get themselves out of a position they never thought they would be in at the beginning of this season. They meet at Bishopsgate this evening with kick-off at 7:45 pm.

The Lilywhites travel to the midlands in ninth position with only the hosts behind them with a seventeen point gap between them. A win for Longford would be welcome but would it be enough when it comes to seasons end is the question.

The hosts lost their last league fixture away to St. Patrick’s Athletic as Chris Forrester inspired his side to maintain the chase on Shamrock Rovers at the expense of Longford. The story has been a familiar one this season with ‘The Town’ performing well but just not getting the ounce of luck needed to turn certain results into wins. They have lost their previous five games and will be lucking it doesn’t become unlucky six in a row.

Dundalk is down to the bare bones in terms of players but Vinny Perth’s focus is on a late league run as well as a trip to the Aviva Stadium come November as his way of a ticket to European football next season.

“We’re three wins away from Europe and we’re going to battle our backside off to do it in the league as well,” Perth commented when speaking to the media this week. “I don’t think that’s out of the running. I think this team can win seven or eight games in a row, but we need bodies back.

His side came out of Waterford last week with a point but both sides will feel they should have taken all three. The men from Oriel know that the points tally is just nine points between ninth and fourth and a series of wins could bring them back up the table, consistency and momentum is a must if they are to mount a late run in the league.

Wilfried Zahibo, Patrick McEleney, David McMillan and Brian Gartland are all long injured for Dundalk. While there will be observations over Darragh Leahy, Daniel Cleary, Daniel Kelly and Michael Duffy. Raivis Jurkovskis and Sonni Nattestad will be back from international duty and will be expected to be part of the matchday squad.

Longford will assess Shane Elworthy who is doubtful after a head injury last week v St. Pats, while Rob Manley and Karl Chambers are doubtful also.

Dylan Grimes is out through an ankle injury and won’t feature.