UCD will look to close the gap with league leaders Shelbourne as they welcome Cobh Ramblers to Belfield for the second game of the second round of fixtures (kick-off 7.45pm).
With the Reds facing a tough trip to Bray Wanderers, Andy Myler’s side will be hopeful a win will help them cut the five-point gap to the team at the top of the table.
The Students returned to winning ways in the final game before the summer break, ending a two-game winless streak, as they came from behind to beat Athlone Town 3-2 away.
An injury-time goal from Mark Dignam sealed a dramatic comeback for the Students, who had fallen behind inside the first quarter to goals from Dan McKenna and Shane Barnes.
Liam Kerrigan pulled a goal back before the break and Dara Keane levelled up early in the second to set up a tense finish.
UCD’s Paul Doyle and Athlone’s Tumelo Tiou saw red for second bookings late on, before wing-back Dignam settled the tie as the clock ticked into the red.
The Students faced the Ireland under-19s in a behind-closed-doors friendly during the week, while striker Colm Whelan spent the week with Ireland’s under-21s in Spain.
Defender Jack Keaney is back in contention after recovering from an injury sustained in the early weeks of the season, but Paul Doyle serves a one-match for his red card.
Cobh Ramblers travel to Belfield on the back of one of their most significant results in recent years as they edged out county rivals Cork City 1-0 last time out.
Jake Hegarty’s goal just past the hour mark at St Colman’s Park gave the Rams their first league win over City since 1995.
The result saw Stuart Ashton’s side move up to eight points, just one behind their rivals, and five clear of Wexford at the foot of the table.
“We dug in, each and every man, and that’s what we have to do from here on in. We were dogged and we got the little bit of luck we needed,” Ashton told the club’s media “team.
“It’s given us that extra boost to push on and hopefully we take it into Friday. It’s not a game we’re taking lightly.
“If we don’t get anything here then the week before was a waste of time. We’ve talked about that during the week.
“There’s a bit more confidence around the place. The back five have their clean sheet, they can build on that.
“From day one we’ve showed what we can do, when we do that for 90 minutes we’re a force to be reckoned with.
“The game knowledge, game management is part of the game and we can’t ignore that. If we bring that into our game more, as we showed against Cork City, I think we can be where we want to be.“
Captain John Kavanagh remains out injured, while Stephen O’Leary and Pierce Phillips will also miss out alongside Caelin Rooney and Regix Madika.
Ciaran Griffin and Conor Drinan have both regained full fitness, however, while Cian Murphy will be assessed before kick-off.
Referee: Marc Lynch.
This is the second meeting between the sides this season after Cobh hosted the Students on the second day of the season.
On that occasion, a brace from Liam Kerrigan and one each from Jack Keaney and Colm Whelan saw Andy Myler’s side to a handsome 4-0 victory.
The Rams haven’t got the better of UCD since July of 2017, when a Darren Murphy goal saw the Cork side to a 1-0 win at St Colman’s Park.
UCD 2/5; Draw 7/2; Cobh Ramblers 9/2.
UCD 2 – 0 Cobh Ramblers
Doubtful: Jack Keaney.
Suspended: Paul Doyle.
Injured: John Kavanagh, Stephen O’Leary, Pierce Phillips, Caelin Rooney and Regix Madika.
Doubtful: Cian Murphy.