Bohemians will look to extend their unbeaten run to six matches tonight when they make the short trip to Belfield to take on a resurgent UCD team in the SSE Airtricity League (k/o 7.45 pm).
The Gypsies lie in third place in the Premier Division and a victory this evening would close the gap on Shamrock Rovers in second to just three points, further enhancing their chances of qualifying for Europe next year.
There were fears for the Students who were bottom of the table and then lost key men Conor Davis to Derry City and both Neil Farrugia and Gary O’Neill to Shamrock Rovers.
However, they lifted themselves off the bottom picking up four points in their next two games; a home win against Finn Harps and a very impressive away draw with Derry City.
"You can't underestimate UCD, they've got good young players," warned Bohemians midfielder Keith Ward ahead of tonight's game.
"We know they've lost some players but they still have quality and they've brought in Jack Keaney from Sligo too."
"They've got a win and a draw in their last two games and we are in for a tricky game. We've done our homework and we know it will be difficult."
UCD lost the last meeting between the sides 3-0 at Dalymount Park while they went down 2-0 in the last clash at Belfield with Bohs playmaker Danny Mandroiu (pictured with UCD's Paul Doyle) scoring a superb opener on the night.
Mandroiu's form in the attacking midfield position behind the striker has seen Ward moved out to the left wing, while they both also vie for set-piece duties.
"I nearly scored a free-kick against Derry!," Ward added. "Our rivalry is a healthy one, but I'm older and better looking.
"The fans have taken to him, he's been great for us. Obviously, everyone was talking about the goal against Rovers and he deserved to win Player of the Month.
"But he's been one of the standout players in the league and they're the kind of players you want to play with. I don't mind playing on the wing, the main thing is I'm playing and contributing to the team."
The visitors' lengthy injury list is shortening with both Michael Barker and Kevin Devanney returning from concussion injuries to face Chelsea in last week's friendly at Dalymount Park.
Aaron Barry (hamstring), Rob Cornwall (Achilles), Danny Grant (hamstring), Dinny Corcoran (ankle) and Cristian Magerusan (cruciate) all remain out.
The hosts will also be without striker Timmy Molloy who left the club on completion of his degree.