UCD v Waterford, UCD Bowl, 7.45pm

The relegation battle has been about two teams for over half of the season but this game could change that.

UCD and Finn Harps have picked up some surprise wins recently, most notably with the Donegal side winning in Waterford last week, so there is huge pressure on Alan Reynolds' men going into this fixture.

Waterford have three matches in hand, away to Derry City, Cork City and at home to Shamrock Rovers, so by no means are points guaranteed. 

It gives the Students a chance tonight to move within four of the opposition. 

Team news

UCD: Evan Osam, Josh Collins, and Sean McDonald will definitely be missing for College. New signings Liam Kerrigan (Sligo) and Sam Byrne (Bohs) should receive clearance to be available for selection.

Waterford: Kevin Lynch and Sam Bone continue to miss out; with Bone nearing a return. Zack Elbouzedi, out since injury put an end to his Toulon Tournament in June, should play some part. Rory Feely returns from suspension.

Gaffer Talk

Collie O'Neill (UCD manager): "Obviously the Rovers game was disappointing, and the performance was unacceptable. However, in the previous few games before that I thought we were brilliant, so Friday is an important one for us as we look to bounce back and get the performance back into our game and to get back to winning ways."

Alan Reynolds (Waterford manager): "The supporters were great last week and we know they're frustrated. The players are hurting. They know what it means to everybody and they’re working hard to get us moving in the right direction, starting this Friday.

"UCD lost last weekend but they’ve had some really good recent results so we’ll expect another tough game because we know Collie always has them well organised. We’ve had it tough up there recently so we need to be on our game to get something on Friday."

Mikey Place's goal gave Harps three crucial points last week

Finn Harps v Derry City, Finn Park, 8pm 

A big crowd is expected at Finn Park with both teams on a high going into this match.

Harps boosted their hopes of survival with a first away win of the season last week, while Derry kept up their pursuit of Bohemians with a comprehensive win over Sligo Rovers. 

Expect fireworks like in the first meeting of the season at the venue. 

Team news

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Michael Gallagher, Nathan Boyle and Mark Coyle are all set to miss the game.

Derry City: Full squad to pick from. 

Gaffer talk

Ollie Horgan (Finn Harps manager): "We have lost twice to Derry in the league and they are fourth in the table. So we're going into (the) game as underdogs. We will be up against it with the quality Derry has so the backing of a big home support from start to finish would be a big lift for the players."

Declan Devine (Derry City manager): "Its is a game we will have to be at our best."

"We have to go with confidence because we are playing well, but we have to go with respect as the history of these fixtures is that nine times out of ten they are games where incidents throw up. We have made sure we do our side of things and do the things we are good at.

"It is a derby and both sets of supporters will be demanding that they get effort and commitment.  Both sets of teams give that anyway and our players have been giving us real quality over the last few months."