League Preview: Dundalk -v- Derry City

Fri, Apr 20 2018

Ronan Curtis of Derry in action during the Candystripes' 4-0 defeat to Dundalk at Maginn Park in August of last year. Credit: John-Paul McGinley

DUNDALK

Dundalk welcome Derry City to Oriel Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm) with both teams putting their six-game winning streaks on the line.

Dundalk posted wins over Bray Wanderers on Friday and Limerick on Tuesday to edge themselves two points clear at the top of the Premier Division table.

With Waterford suffering two straight losses, the Lilywhites now have a two-point buffer at the top of the table, with champions Cork City their nearest challengers.

“We have got ourselves out in front and it is something we didn’t have last year,” defender Sean Hoare told the club's website.

“We were always chasing and didn’t have anything to hold onto so we want to stay where we are, it’s nice to be there. There is going to be twists and turns to come, we know that but we are ready for it.”

“Since Derry City have gone back to the Brandywell they have been excellent and they will be well used to playing on the same pitch as us so it is set up to be a brilliant game. We are both playing well at the moment.

“They are flying. Something has to give, one of us will be dropping points but we are in good form and playing very well now.

“We are good at home and we want to continue the run we are on so hopefully we can and get another good three points.”

Karolis Chvedukas is Dundalk's only confirmed absentee with an ankle injury after Daniel Cleary and Kristian Adorjan were cleared to return to action after missing Tuesday's game.

 

DERRY CITY

Derry City, like Dundalk, come into the game on the back of a six-game winning streak.

Kenny Shiels' side posted home wins over Waterford and Bohemians to move level with Wateford in third position, six points behind their hosts on Friday night.

"We're on a great run and that is testament to a lot of people,” Shiels told the club's media team.

“It has been suggested that the Brandywell pitch has influenced our results but that is very unfair to the players, coaching staff and supporters who have all contributed to this effort."

"The reason that we have been playing well is down to the effort and preparation of our staff, the committment and hard work of the whole squad and the magnificent support we receive from the people who back the team and create a magnificent atmosphere for the players. The pitch has nothing at all to do with it.

"By and large football games are won by the team that makes the least mistakes. It is no coincidence that Dundalk are top because as you can see from their goals conceded column, they make fewer mistakes."

"They are very well organised-probably the best organised team in the country- and are set up to be hard to play against."

"Thankfully we're going there in a bit of form ourselves so we'll do everything we can to try to preserve our recent record".

Derry will definitely be without three injured players, while a fourth is a doubt, but Shiels has decided to keep their identities a secret.

 

Referee: Ben Connolly

 

MATCH STATS

The sides met four times last season – three times in the league and once in the first round of the FAI Cup.

Derry won the first league meeting between the sides at Maginn Park last season, with the late Ryan McBride scoring in a 3-1 win for the home side.

Following a 0-0 draw at Oriel in May, Dundalk closed the season out with 4-0 wins in both the cup and league, in the cup in Louth and again in Donegal.

 

BETTING

Dundalk 4/11; Draw 7/2; Derry City 13/2.

PREDICTION

Dundalk 2 – 0 Derry City

 

Dundalk

Injured: Karolis Chvedukas (ankle).

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

 

Derry City

Injured: Three players (identities unknown).

Doubtful: AN Other.

Suspended: None.