United face The Blues this Friday

Galway United will be hoping for no cracks in the wall for their performance against Waterford.

Galway United will be hoping for no cracks in the wall for their performance against Waterford.

Galway United renew old rivalries tomorrow night with another important game against Waterford FC at the Regional Sports Centre.

After a round of fixtures, an initially topsy turvy table has started to take shape. The standings reinforce the importance of this game with both sides nearer to the bottom than they might have expected from some of their impressive early showings.

There has been one game already between these sides this season that can offer some small guidance. In a feisty affair, a set-piece strike from David Hurley settled it for United. They had to do it the hard way however, as Waterford had edged in front before being pegged back by a Vince Borden goal.

The result continued an impressive sequence against the South-East side. Last season, while vying for automatic promotion from the First Division, United won three of four games between the sides while drawing the other.

There has been rejuvenation in the Waterford ranks since: Kacper Radkowski (Bohemians ), Darragh Leahy (Dundalk ) and Pádraig Amond (Woking ) have all added significant strength and experience.

Amond netted his fifth of the season for a 1-0 winner in Dalymount Park against Bohs last weekend. The same opposition inflicted United’s heaviest defeat in their last meeting, winning 2-0 in Terryland.

In that context, amidst a tough run of games, John Caulfield will have taken the positives from a break enforced by the Storm Kathleen cancellation of last Saturday’s game against Sligo Rovers.

This is especially so, as United face into a congested period of six games in 24 days. The squad has been bolstered by the return of Wassim Aouachria who was fit enough for 15 minutes against Bohs. He will be eager to increase upon that tally against his former side.

Regan Donelon also got 45 minutes last time out after missing the majority of the previous two games. He will provide a positive selection dilemma at left-back where Al-Amin Kazeem has won plenty of admirers for his attacking play.

There are decisions to be made also in the middle of the park. With more options up front, Karl O’ Sullivan may be deployed in his more traditional, wide berth. Aodh Dervin has six league starts but has yet to finish 90 minutes for United this season. When the Longford man has played, he has provided plenty of positives from the right. Patrick Hickey has made an impact in the middle every time he has been introduced.

The hectic schedule will be a further consideration for selection and rotation. Interestingly, only Brendan Clarke and Killian Brouder have played every league minute even at this early stage of the season. Along with captain Conor McCormack, they provide a strong and reliable spine.

United will need to rely on another strong showing from this trio to provide the foundation for another stirring away performance.


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