Dundalk without suspended Hoban for visit to Bohemians

Champions can overtake Rovers at the top the table on goal difference if they win

Tonight's visit of champions Dundalk to Dalymount Park is about expectation and not revenge for Bohemians defender Michael Barker.

A Patrick Hoban penalty, five minutes into stoppage time, gave Dundalk a scarcely deserved 1-0 win when the sides met at Oriel Park last month.

As they'd won away to Finn Harps the previous Friday, Bohemians had made seven changes for the trip to Dundalk three days later yet still produced one of their best performances of the season only to be undone so cruelly.

Having suffered a hamstring tear in pre-season, 25-year-old Barker made his first league start of the campaign last week as Bohemians conceded for the first time in five games since that Dundalk defeat in losing at home to Cork City.


And it's simply about bouncing back from that for Keith Long's side tonight as Dundalk bring their good recent form – fives wins and a draw – to Phibsborough for a third v second clash.

“Obviously it was great for me personally to finally get a chance,” said Barker of his first involvement last week. “There was huge disappointment with the result from the last time we played Dundalk. To have made so many changes and play the way we did shows the depth of quality we have.

“The performance the lads put in deserved to win the game, so to lose in the manner we did was a big disappointment for everyone.

“This game isn’t about revenge at all. But there is expectation, yes. We know if we go out and give a performance like we did against them the last time, we can cause them a lot of problems.”

Cristian Magerusan remains out for Bohemians with a cruciate injury while Rob Cornwall and Keith Ward need to prove their fitness. Aaron Barry, ineligible last week, returns.

Sent off after scoring twice in their 2-2 draw with Derry City, leading scorer Hoban is suspended for Dundalk who will go top of the table on goal difference ahead of Shamrock Rovers if they win.

Robbie Benson, Stephen Folan, Sean Murray and Jamie McGrath remain out while Jordan Flores is a doubt with a knee injury.