League Preview: Dundalk -v- Waterford

Andy Boyle during Dundalk's 1-0 win over Waterford in October 2021

Andy Boyle during Dundalk's 1-0 win over Waterford in October 2021 Credit: Ben Whitley (ETPhotos)


The Lilywhites are still looking for their first win of the league campaign, having lost three in a row without scoring, and they are still seeking their first league goal in Oriel Park in 2024.

Last time out at home Dundalk lost 5-0 at home to Sligo Rovers – their worst league loss for nearly 34 years. However Stephen O’Donnell’s side were a lot better in last Friday’s 1-0 loss to St. Patrick’s Athletic in Dublin 8 but still remain bottom of the table.

Stephen O’Donnell, speaking to dundalkfc.com, spoke about the pressure around his team’s start to the seaon. “If you lose games, you know there’s going to be a reaction from supporters and I understand that,” said O’Donnell.

“We know it’s up to us to get the fans back onside. Good results get fans enthusiastic and get fans engaged and until we start producing results we can’t have any complaints.

“I can totally understand the criticism of the last week but, ultimately, the only things that can get supporters engaged are victories and results and that’s ultimately my remit. We’ll be leaving no stone unturned to achieve that against Waterford on Friday night.

“We’re playing a newly-promoted team but I don’t think you’re expected to beat any team in this league this season. I don’t think the landscape is like that. I think you’ve a couple of teams at the top and then everyone else can beat each other – and rightly feel that they can beat each other.”


Third placed Waterford come into Friday’s game on the back of a 3-0 defeat away to Derry City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium last Friday.

This is their fourth away trip of the campaign and having made a strong start to the season on their return to the Premier Division.

They have seven points from their first five games including wins away to Drogheda United (4-1) and at home St. Patrick's Athletic (3-1). On the opening night of the season they drew 1-1 against leaders Shelbourne.

It is a busy bank holiday St. Patrick’s weekend for the Blues who host Rockmount on Monday at SETU Arena in their Munster Senior Cup semi-final,

Referee: Kevin O’Sullivan

This is the first meeting of these clubs since an FAI Cup tie at the RSC in September 2022, when Waterford came out on top 3-2 to qualify for the final four.

Back in 2021, the Lilywhites’ emerged in a 1-0 home victory. Daniel Kelly scored the stoppage-time goal at the end of the first half. However, Waterford did win 3-1 on their other trip to Oriel Park that season, with John Martin scoring twice on a summer night.


1-0 home win


Injured: None

Doubtful: Andy Boyle, George Shelvey, Jamie Walker, Dara Keane

Suspended: None 


Injured: Darragh Power

Doubtful: None

Suspended: Darragh Leahy