League Preview: Derry City -v- Sligo Rovers

Fri, Jun 01 2018

Aaron McEneff scored twice against Bray Wanderers, the Candystripes' only win in May. Credit: John-Paul McGinley

DERRY CITY

Derry City have only picked up one league win in the month of May, a 2-0 home win against Bray, a trend they'll look to buck when they host Sligo Rovers (kick-off 7.45pm).

After an impressive run of form, Kenny Shiels’ men have now lost three of their last four. As injuries and players departing have left the squad fairly thin.

Waterford took full advantage last time out claiming a 4-0 win at the RSC.

Kenny Shields had planned to have a full squad at his disposal for the visit of Sligo but, speaking to the club website, he revealed this may not be the case.

He said: “We are not far away, Eoin Toal had a slight back strain but other than that we’re near enough full strength.”

Rory Patterson will also be out due to suspension after picking up five yellow cards.

The game is set to be Ronan Curtis’ last for the club as he will complete a move to league one club, Portsmouth, when the transfer window opens in England on June 9th.

Curtis’ departure adds to those leaving the club with John Cofie, David Hopkirk, Chris Turner and Armin Aganovic all having left from the early season squad.

Shields has responded by admitting he is in negotiation with players whom he had hoped would join in the summer.

“Yes, I am currently in discussion with a couple of players and although it is just that at the moment I am hoping to have much more news in the future.”

Turning his attention to Friday night’s game, the Derry boss had this to say.

“You can't really talk about favourites to win in this league. The ten-team set-up has made it much more competitive and every team is capable on their day."

"We will have played Sligo at least five times by the end of this season having drawn them in the League Cup."

"The first two were hard fought and I'm not expecting the rest to be any different."

SLIGO ROVERS

Sligo Rovers meet Derry City for the third time this season on Friday night.

The game will be the first at the newly redeveloped Brandywell after the sides share a win apiece at the Showgrounds.

The Bit o’ Red will once again be stretched to the limits with Adam Morgan, Regan Donelon, Gary Boylan and Raff Cretaro out injured, while John Mahon and Jack Keaney serve one-match suspensions.

In more positive news, Patrick McClean returns from injury and suspension to face his hometown club.

Former Derry player Seamus Sharkey will also be available for selection after opting out of the Ellan Vannin squad at the CONIFA tournament.

“We’ve had a couple of clean sheets but we’re looking for much more from an attacking point of view,” manager Gerard Lyttle told the club's website.

“They have been tight games so far with Derry. Our second game was our poorest display of the season whereas we won the first game.

“Our away record has been better than our home form, and I think the big pitch will suit us, and not just them, because they are obviously strong there.

“ Derry have had a couple of heavy defeats that they will be looking to respond to and there'll be a big focus on them.

“We’re really looking forward to taking them on. We’ve been much better at restricting teams recently and we want to create more and have a go more at teams.

“There is a difficulty given we are missing so many defenders and even some makeshift defenders, but we’ll get on with it.

“We have faith in everyone we call upon in the squad.”

 

Referee: Damian McGraith.

 

MATCH STATS

The sides have already met twice this season at the Sligo Showgrounds, sharing a win apiece.

Both sides sit in the top three of the most-booked sides in the league: Sligo on top with 51 yellow and four red cards. Derry are third with 42 yellow and 2 red.

So far this season Derry have scored 33 goals and conceded 30. Sligo have scored 14 and conceded 26 goals.

In 2017 the sides met three times in the league both sides sharing a win apiece with one draw. Ten goals were scored over those three league meetings.

 

BETTING

Derry City 1/2; Sligo Rovers 9/2; Draw 11/4

PREDICTION

Derry City 2-0 Sligo Rovers

 

Derry City

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Eoin Toal.

Suspended: Rory Patterson.

Sligo Rovers

Injured: Adam Morgan, Regan Donelon, Gary Boylan, Raff Cretaro.

Doubtful: Unknown.

Suspended: John Mahon, Jack Kearney.