Derry City -v- DundalkTue, Oct 02 2012
Derry City go into this game on the back of a 4-1 defeat to Sligo Rovers at the weekend. Like their opponents, the Candystripes are on a poor run of form in the league and are currently lying in 8th place without a win since August. They have struggled as of late but have maintained form in the FAI Cup, where they have a semi-final against Shelbourne to look forward to this weekend.
Derry City will be looking to take their first victory against Dundalk this season having lost against the Louth club at the Brandywell back in April while they could only manage a draw in July when the two sides last met.
Speaking to derrycityfc.net ahead of the encounter, manager Declan Devine admits that the big game for them is on Sunday against Shelbourne and with that in mind is set to field a weakened team ensuring all key players are available but knows that a victory is important to them.
“We have to make sure that players are available for Sunday, so we’ll see what our team situation is like closer to kick-off time tomorrow night, but at the same time I won’t be taking any risks on players who are struggling.
“They are fighting for their lives and they need a few points to try and avoid that relegation play-off spot, so I think it is vitally important that they get a win, but for me it’s vitally important that we too get a win and more importantly a very good performance.”
The home side will be without the injured Ruadhri Higgins, Barry Molloy, Stephen McLaughlin, Marc Brolly and Rory Patterson.
Dundalk are in dire straits and approach this game on the back of a 7-0 drubbing to Shamrock Rovers last Friday night. A performance to go with the result, it was a poor night for all involved with the club. Like their opponents, they too are on a bad run of form in the league however they have not won a game since May and haven’t even picked up a point early August.
They do however have a Cup semi-final to look forward to this weekend and having fallen 9 points adrift at the foot of the table and a playoff almost certain, the Lilywhites may have one eye on this weekend as they approach tonight’s encounter.
Speaking to dundalkfc.com ahead of the match, interim manager Darius Kierans is hoping his players can put in a good performance following their horror show at the weekend and is hoping that they can go into their Cup semi-final against St. Patrick’s Athletic this weekend on a positive note.
“I’m looking for a positive reaction from the players after Friday night.The performance was poor and probably less said about it the better.We have to go to Derry now and put in a positive performance. We’ll have Derek Foran back and we’ll probably make a couple of changes.
“Derry are not having the best of times themselves but like us they have a cup semi-final next weekend and will be looking for a positive result going into that.”
The Lilywhites will travel North without the services of Garreth Brady through injury while Michael Rafter and Mark O’Brien are doubtful. Mark Griffin is definitely out through suspension but they can welcome back Derek Foran back from a ban, Gary Shanahan from injury and Lorcan Shannon was ineligible against his parent club Shamrock Rovers at the weekend and should feature tonight.
Referee: Rob Rogers.
Dundalk will be aiming to record their first league victory in 16 outings and will be aiming to do a league double at the Brandywell for the first time since they were promoted in 2009.
Both sides have actually picked up more points away from home than at home. The Candystripes have picked up 17 points away as opposed to 13 at home while the Lilywhites have claimed 9 points away from County Louth with 7 coming at home.
The Lilywhites have the worst defensive record in the league conceding 53 goals and have a goal difference -34 and they haven’t kept a clean sheet since April 6th – at home to Shelbourne.
Derry City 2/5; Draw 3/1; Dundalk 6/1.
Both sides will have one eye on their Cup semi-finals this weekend so expect weakened sides and probably a scoreless draw. 0-0.
Derry City injury news: Ruaidhri Higgins (thigh), Barry Molloy (hip), Stephen McLaughlin, Rory Patterson (both hamstring) and Marc Brolly (calf).
Derry City suspension news: None.
Dundalk injury news: Garreth Brady (ankle), Michael Rafter and Mark O’Brien (both doubtful).
Dundalk suspension news: Mark Griffin.
Jamie Mahon joined the Extratime team at the beginning of 2011. Hailing from the North West, Jamie reports on all things Derry City. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JamieMahon23.