League Preview: Derry City -v- St Patrick's Athletic

Fri, Jul 27 2018

DERRY CITY

Derry City will look to revive their hunt for a European place as they welcome St Patrick's Athletic to the Brandywell on Friday evening (kick-off 7.45pm).

City's euphoria following their 2-1 win over Dinamo Minsk in Belarus was shortlived as they shipped a 5-0 defeat at Cork City just three days later.

Manager Kenny Shiels was critical of the decision to send the Candystripes on such a long trip so shortly after their return from Europe, but they were soundly beaten on the day.

With the Saints just three points behind Derry in fifth place, a defeat of any kind for City would see them drop down into the bottom half of the table.

"We'd love to get the momentum of support back heading into the crucial part of the season,” Shiels told the club's media team.

“It's so important for the players to have that backing and we'll be doing everything in our power to give them the best performance we can."

Nicky Low continues to miss out with an abdominal problem, but he's the only absentee as Rory Hale returrns from a one-match ban.

ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC

The Saints task at the Brandywell is simple – a win of any description will see them leapfrog the Candystripes into fifth.

That's easier said than done, as evidenced by their last trip to the Brandywell, when two goals from Aaron McEneff condemned them to a tough defeat.

Liam Buckley's side ended a seven-game losing run last week as two goals in four minutes from Conan Byrne helped them to a 2-1 win over Limerick at Richmond Park.

"I felt we were the better side throughout and so to go a goal down and then show great desire and patience to keep going to the end, that really impressed me,” Buckley said.

"We are one apiece against Derry this year. We had a great win at home and then were so unfortunate in the Brandywell earlier this season.

“They had a good performance in Europe last week so we know to expect a really difficult game from them.

“They are a good footballing side and Kenny Shiels will have them ready for it."

Kevin Toner returns to the squad following a one-match suspension but striker Christy Fagan is out for the season with a patella injury.

 

Referee: Robert Harvey.

 

MATCH STATS

The sides have traded home wins this season, with a 2-1 win for the Candystripes in Derry more than balanced out by the Saints' 5-2 at Richmond Park.

 

BETTING

Derry City 17/10; Draw 23/10; St Patrick's Athletic 11/10.

PREDICTION

Derry City 2 – 2 St Patrick's Athletic

 

Derry City

Injured: Nicky Low.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

St Patrick's Athletic

Injured: Christy Fagan.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.