Galway Utd vs Dundalk by Hassy
After Joenbuk let us down surprisingly yesterday we leave Asia with our tails between our legs and land in Ireland. It is the League Cup semi final in a game that sees the free scoring Galway entertain Ireland's main boys Dundalk. I am sure most on here know of Dundalk's European heroics last season but this season they are miles behind Cork City in the league and failed, very unluckily against Rosenborg in the CL qualifiers. Since the Rosenborg result it could be argued that Dundalk went through a bit of a slump and they failed to win in a few games but that run came to an end against Sligo at the weekend and they are back to their usual winning ways.
The win was also their first clean sheet in three and they have been letting some goals in, something that wasn't the case last season. In fact, so far this season 42% of their away games have seen both teams score, they have never failed to score on their travels and they are conceding just shy of a goal a game.
Despite their league title race effectively being dead they are still in both Irish cup competitions so will have plenty to play for between now and the end of the season.
Patrick McEleney made his return to the team after a groin injury on Friday and is available for selection once again. Thomas Stewart missed out on Friday with a back injury but may be in contention to play. Dane Massey however was ruled out with a calf strain and is likely to miss out once more. Dylan Connolly is unavailable due to him being cup-tied with Bray Wanderers.
The host Galway are nowhere near the level of Dundalk but they couldn't be in better shape coming into this semi final tie. They come into the match with three wins out of their last four games and have lost just once in their last six games. They have also failed to score only twice in their last eleven games and have found the net successively in their last five league games. They have scored a respectable seventeen league goals in their 12 home matches and seven of those have come in their last two games so confidence is high in the team and I am certain they will hit the back of the net tonight. Galway manager has been speaking up his clubs chances “The game couldn’t have come at a better time for us,” Keegan explained.
“There is a lot of positivity about the club. We’ve won three of our last four games. The players are in a good frame of mind. The Finn Harps result was fantastic. What more could you ask for now, we’re playing the current league champions, it’s a nice game to look forward to. The players understand the extent of the challenge, but they’re embracing it."
Galway's teams news isn't too bad either. Ronan Murray is suspended after an accumulation of yellow cards. Jonah Ayunga is cup-tied after already featuring in the EA SPORTS Cup with Sligo Rovers. Conor Melody returns following an ankle injury to give Shane Keegan a fully fit squad to choose from.
This is effectively a one off shoot out and I expect a pretty open affair. Despite the away side being strong favourites, the host are in a good place at the moment and a shock could be on the cards. The odds were very appealing and given we can be certain that Dundalk will score (scored in every league and cup game so far this season) I am happy to take a chance on the host scoring at least once too.
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