Top of the table clash at the RSC

Waterford’s RSC

By @CraigOSul1

Waterford face Dublin opposition for the second week running as they welcome UCD to the RSC. With games coming thick and fast we are already preparing for the tenth league game of the season.

Waterford are anticipating their highest attendance of the season when UCD come to town on Friday. In what is the biggest game in this new era for Waterford, under the ownership of Lee Power a bumper crowd is expected. There has been a huge buzz around Waterford since the season began and Waterford FC is now the talk of the town. It’s already a crucial game for the ‘Blues’ as if they drop points for the second week running they could be knocked off the top of the table.

Waterford’s lead at the top of the table was cut to just a single point in the previous game-week which makes this game even more important for both sides.

As expected Cabinteely proved they aren’t push overs in the last league outing for Waterford where they came away from Stradbrook with just a single point. After a very frustrating match Cabinteely came away the happier of the two sides, but the point proved to be an important one for Waterford as it kept them top of the table albeit by a point.

Last week’s point against Cabinteely came at a cost, as Kenny Browne is now set for a spell on the side lines, with both Patrick McClean and Dean O’Hallaran likely to miss this Fridays game through injury as both are rated doubtful.

In the last league outing UCD may have counted themselves lucky to come away with a result. Shelbourne could have been out of sight before UCD scored what was the only goal of the game, but a young UCD side fought hard and never gave up. The youthful side were ultimately rewarded as they came away with all three points. The win gave UCD some daylight over their Dublin rivals, increasing the gap over Shelbourne and Cabinteely to five points. A late winner in a Dublin Derby away from home in a game where they were lucky to get a point, this will have giving the players a huge buzz and boost going into Friday’s meeting with Waterford.

The UCD players will be full of belief traveling to Waterford that they can get a result against the promotion favourites. In the last meeting between the sides it was a very close encounter until Waterford scored the first goal. From there Waterford went on to become deserved winners, where they left Dublin with all three point. UCD’s biggest asset is Gary O’Neil, he has been one of the top performers in the division in recent years and Waterford will have some trouble trying to contain him.

Waterford will be looking to make it 11 games unbeaten in all competitions and seven wins from seven at the RSC when they face UCD. After last week’s dismal performance in Stradbrook, Alan Reynolds will be working hard all week with his squad looking for a bigger performance and a reaction from the players.

With the buzz at Waterford’s home games, where attendances have been in the 1300, 1600 and 1900’s. In the player’s performance, you can see the players thriving off the big crowds. As another big crowd is been anticipated, the crowd will be expecting a cracker of a tie. With such a good playing surface at the RSC this should benefit both sides, as both teams like to get the ball on the ground and play football. Which will make it for an interesting fixture.

Previous Meetings

2017 – UCD 0-2 Waterford

2016 – Waterford 1-8 UCD

UCD 2-1 Waterford

Waterford 3-1 UCD

UCD 1-3 Waterford

2015 – Waterford 0-1 UCD

UCD 5-1 Waterford

Waterford 0-0 UCD

UCD 3-0 Waterford

2012 – Waterford 1-6 UCD (EA Sports Cup)

Waterford FC

Recent Fixtures

Cabinteely 0-0 Waterford

Waterford 2-0 Cobh Ramblers (EA Sports Cup)

Waterford 2-1 Athlone Town

Waterford 2-1 Cobh Ramblers

Wexford 0-5 Waterford (EA Sports Cup)

Top Scorers

Mark O’Sullivan – 4 goals

David McDaid – 3 goals

Patrick McClean – 2 goals

Key Players

Mark O Sullivan – ‘Marky’ has been a key player in the Waterford forward line this year. O’Sullivan can be a handfull for any defence to deal with, using his strengths to his advantage. Marky is Waterford’s top scorer in the league with 4 leagues just one behind rival and opponent George Kelly.

Anthony McAlevey – The Cork native was one of the better players for Waterford in recent years. With a very strong Waterford squad this year ‘Macca’ is surrounded by quality players, thus Macca is flourishing. Macca scored a goal of the season contender earlier in the season when Waterford ran out 3-0 in the RSC against UCD.

UCD

Recent Fixtures

Shelbourne 0-1 UCD

Dundalk 1-1 UCD (Dundalk won 7-6 on penalties – EA Sports Cup)

UCD 2-2 Cabinteely

UCD 4-1 Athlone

Cobh Ramblers 1-0 UCD

Top Scorers

George Kelly – 5 goals

Gary O’Neil – 4 goals

Ben Hanrahan – 1 goals

Key Players;

George Kelly – The 20-year-old forward has been more of UCD’s most influential players thus far this season. Kelly is tied top of the league goal scoring chants having scored 5 league goal thus far this season. Kelly is part of a very youthful UCD squad this year and he is one of their most dangerous players in front of goal.

Gary O Neil – O’Neil has been one of best players in recent years in the league. He is one of the most prolific midfielders in front of goal and is always up at the top end of the league’s goal scoring chants. O’Neil has four goals so far this season just one behind fellow teammate George Kelly. Although just 22, O’Neil is one of the oldest and experienced players in the UCD squad.

Team News;

Waterford

Injured: Sander Puri, Ian McLoughlin, Kenny Browne and Jake Evans.

Doubtful: Patrick McClean, Gary Delaney and Dean O’Halloran

Suspended: None

UCD

Injured: N/A

Doubtful: N/A

Suspended: None

Match Officials

Referee: Robert Hennessy

Assistants: Ralph Pieper and Adam Tszampel

Fourth official: Pat Gleeson

Betting (Paddy Power)

Waterford​ 8/13

Draw ​​14/5

UCD ​​9/2

Prediction

Waterford FC 1-1 UCD