Limerick FC will look to finally secure Premier Division football for 2018 when they take on relegation rivals Galway United in the final home game of the season tonight (kick off 7.45 pm).
Neil McDonald’s charges are currently in the driving seat in the race to avoid the drop sitting on 39 points, five clear of the visitors who occupy the final relegation spot in tenth, and with very little separating the teams in their meetings so far, a thrilling contest is to be expected.
The Super Blues come into the game knowing a point will secure their status in the top flight, but with the Tribesmen needing a victory to have any hope at surviving following a 1-1 draw with St Pats last Friday night, it may be the hardest fought point they’ll earn all season.
Both teams are coming into the crunch relegation clash off the back of some good form of late, the Treaty men unbeaten in their last four league games, while their opponents are unbeaten in their last five.
McDonald’s charges recorded a massive win at home against Drogheda United last Saturday night courtesy of a Rodrigo Tosi penalty, and the Englishmen believes a similar performance will be enough to get them over the line.
“It’s is a big game, but our result last week puts pressure on the teams below us,” McDonald said, speaking to Limerickfc.ie knowing it would take a strange twist of results to see his side back in trouble. “If we apply ourselves, be solid and create the chances like we did last week – and then be clinical, we’ll be okay.”
The sides have met on three occasions already this season, with the visitors holding the upper hand in their two league meetings so far, a late goal securing them a point when they last met at the Markets field in April, before securing a 3-1 win in the reverse fixture at Eamon Deacy Park back in July, but the Super Blues did win the FAI Cup meeting 2-1 in the sides last meeting a month ago.
Also speaking to Limerickfc.ie, goalkeeper Brendan Clarke was quick to praise the Westerners quality, particularly that of their midfield and knows they will need a good game plan to neutralise that threat.
“Galway are a good team. You look at the middle three they have and Ronan Murray as well, who got the league’s Player of the Month for August. They have good players and have threats all over the pitch. We’ll put a plan in place to win the game.”
Limerick once more come into the game with a full squad to pick from, with captain Shane Duggan returning after serving his one match suspension for accumulating eight yellow cards, while Galway United will be without Ronan Manning (groin) and possibly Limerick native Gary Shanahan (shin), who picked up a knock in training but is stilled expected to be available.