Limerick FC entertain champions Dundalk in McDonald’s first game

Neil McDonald will take charge of Limerick FC for the first time when his new side face Dundalk at the Markets Field on Friday night (kick-off 7.45 pm).

The new Limerick manager will have to plan without suspended right-back Shaun Kelly. Shane Tracy remains doubtful. There are no other notable injury concerns for the coaching staff to contend with. The new boss took his first training session on Thursday ahead of the game and after the press conference to unveil him at the Markets Field. As a result, he will be relying largely on the influence of Willie Boland, Joe Gamble and Eddie Hickey to assist him with team selection.

It will take a few weeks for his ideas to register with the Limerick players. However, McDonald admitted that now is the ideal time for a new manager to take charge of a club, with the transfer window opening in both Ireland and abroad.

Limerick will be hoping to improve on a poor recent record against Dundalk. The Super Blues have failed to pick up a victory in their last seven meetings against the Lilywhites. Most recently, a Patrick McEleney strike was enough for Dundalk to beat Limerick 1-0 at Oriel Park in March.

Dundalk produced one of their best displays last week as they defeated Sligo Rovers 4-0. Lilywhites boss Stephen Kenny looks set to be without winger Stephen Kinsella and influential centre-back Brian Gartland through injury. However, the return of Robbie Benson last week was positive news.

Dundalk defender Sean Hoare realises that a tough task awaits his side on Firday night.

“Limerick are a good side and it will be a tough test down there in the Markets Field. It will be a difficult test for us. We know that but we put in a good performance last week and hopefully we can take that form into this week.”

Referee: Paul McLaughlin

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