League Preview: Finn Harps -v- Dundalk

Thu, May 13 2021
Dundalk defender Dan Cleary

Dundalk defender Dan Cleary Credit: Ben Whitley (ETPhotos)

FINN HARPS

Finn Harps will be looking to bounce back after a heavy defeat at the hands of Bohemians at Dalymount Park last week when they welcome Dundalk to Finn Park on Friday evening (kick-off at 17:45).

Harp’s season has been a mixed bag up to this point but their points tally is certainly an improvement compared to recent campaigns. 

Ten points earned after their first five matches, including the reversal of this fixture, saw them continue where they left off last season but recently they’ve only gained four points out of the last 15 available.

Ahead of the match, club top goal scorer Adam Foley spoke to the club’s website said “we’ve done well against Dundalk the last couple of times we’ve faced them but you could have said the same about Bohs and it didn’t count for anything last week.

“We need to be wary. It’s about the next game now, we need to be mentally and physically ready and get back to winning ways. If we put in a good performance there’s no reason we can’t pick up three points,” he concluded.

Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan will also begin his touchline ban after his recent sending off in the game at home to Shamrock Rovers. The FAI’s Disciplinary Controls Unit have handed him a three-match ban.

DUNDALK

The Lilywhites travel to Ballybofey on Friday evening to take on Finn Harps and they too will be hoping to bounce back from defeat after Sligo Rovers left Oriel Park with three points on the 7th of May.

Looking at previous seasons, Dundalk would expect to see their points tally up there with the likes of Shamrock Rovers but after a nightmare of a start, they sit seventh, 16 points behind last season's Champions.

The defeat to Sligo was their first in a month having picked up nine points from the five games prior.

Speaking to the Clubs website, Sporting Director Jim Magilton highlighted a determination among the squad to get into an enviable rhythm.

“We trained on Wednesday and the players were bang at it.” he said. “There was a real intensity in their play on Thursday morning but when we step over that white line on Friday night in Ballybofey, we need to show real mettle and character.

“We need to win the individual battles against Finn Harps because they are going to ask serious questions.” 

The former Northern Ireland International also commented on the recent breach of COVID protocols within the club, apologising and he was delighted to confirm that all tests came back negative.

Referee: Neil Doyle

MATCH STATS

Finn Harps’ win at Oriel Park in March was their first win over the Lilywhites since a play-off encounter in November of 2007. Rewind 18 months to May of 2006 to find their last triumph at the Louth Venue.

Dundalk endured a rough start to their season with no wins in their first six matches but have clicked as of late with two wins in their last four.

Both sides go into this encounter on the back of defeats having lost to Bohemians and Sligo Rovers respectively.

BETTING

Home 9/4, Draw 12/5, Away Evens

PREDICTION

Finn Harps 1 - 3 Dundalk

Finn Harps

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Sean Boyd, Conor Barry, Shane McEleney, Ryan Connolly, Adam Foley.

Suspended: Ollie Horgan(Touchline Ban)

Dundalk

Injured: Brian Gartland, Cameron Dunnigan, Patrick Hoban, David McMillan.

Doubtful: Sonni Nattestad, Sam Stanton

Suspended: None.

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