Galway United will look to home comforts as they look to bounce back from a midweek defeat to Finn Harps with the visit of league leaders UCD (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Tribesmen lost in the most dramatic of circumstances on Monday night as former Galway play Jesse Devers hit a spectacular volley in injury time to earn Harps a 1-0 win.
It was just Shane Keegan's side's second defeat of the season and makes the margin of error all the tighter with the division's form side descending on Deacy Park.
“We now find ourselves under a bit more pressure and it’s up to myself and the players to embrace that pressure and make sure it brings out the best in us.” Keegan explained to the club's official website.
“It was an incredibly frustrating game at Finn Harps, it was a game we were on top of from the start until the 90th minute.
“Apart from a free kick that sailed into the ‘keeper’s hands, Devers’ goal was the first proper shot they had in the entire game, which was gut-wrenching.
“We didn’t manage to yield the result that the performance would have warranted, we now find ourselves under a bit more pressure tonight.” he continued.
“UCD have a really strong side. I was surprised that they weren’t identified at the start of the season as among the potential favourites to win the league.
“They essentially had the same squad as the previous season, which was the first time in a while that they didn’t lose a lot of their players.
“It’s up to ourselves and the teams around us to make sure that they don’t get away from us and haul them back in.”
Aaron Conway will miss the game through injury but otherwise Keegan has a full deck from which to choose.
UCD took advantage of the bank holiday weekend to move six points clear at the top of the First Division.
The Students drew 1-1 with Shelbourne on Friday but kicked on in spectacular fashion with an 8-0 win away to Wexford on Monday evening.
Jason McClelland and Gary O'Neill both scored hat-tricks at the Students ran riot after the break and put the lowly home side to the sword.
“Friday night is going to be a tough game for us against Galway,” UCD manager Collie O'Neill told the club's media team.
“They will be disappointed with the result from Monday night and they will be looking to bounce straight back and narrow the gap at the top once more.
“Games at this time of year for us are always tricky. The lads are in the middle of exams and that usually plays a big part.
“However, we are in good form coming into the game and have a five point lead at the top of the table.”
“Monday saw us record our all-time record league win with a brilliant 8-0 victory over Wexford.
“We played brilliantly and we were extremely clinical with the chances we created, however we know Friday is going to be a different test against a strong Galway side in Eamonn Deacy Park.”
Neil Farrugia, Timmy Molloy, Evan Osam and Greg Sloggett are all injured but Georgie Kelly returns after serving a one-game suspension against Wexford.
Referee: John McLoughlin
The sole previous meeting between the sides this season saw the points shared at the UCD Bowl, Josh Collins cancelling out Danny Furlong's opener for Galway.
Galway United 5/4; Draw 23/10; UCD 9/5.
Galway United 1 – 2 UCD
Injured: Aaron Conway (knee).
Injured: Neil Farrugia (collarbone), Timmy Molloy (knee), Evan Osam (thigh), Greg Sloggett (hamstring).