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

Fri, May 10 2019

St Patrick's Athletic's Rhys McCabe is fit again after missing the defeat to Waterford with concussion. Credit: Paul Dolan (ETPhotos)

DERRY CITY

Derry City welcome St Patrick’s Athletic to the Brandywell in buoyant form after coming from 2-0 down to rescue a point against the champions last week (kick-off 7.45pm).

The Candystripes fell behind to two Patrick Hoban strikes early in the second half in Dundalk last Friday but fought back well to earn a point.

Darren Cole pulled one back for Declan Devin’s side before Eoghan Stokes levelled from the spot after Hoban was shown a second yellow card for handball.

They now host a Saints side whose form has fluctuated in recent weeks, the first of three league meetings between the sides in the next six weeks.

"We were excellent that night but it's gone now and it has absolutely no relevance to this game,” Devine told the club’s media team.

"I have a lot of time for Harry [Kenny] and he likes his team to play the game the right way.

“They've been in decent form themselves despite losing last week and it wasn't that long ago they were stringing together a run of four or five results.

"This league is so competitive and you have to stay switched on and that's what we have tried to do.

“It has been a heavy schedule but the squad has dug in and I thought we showed real character to get a point in Dundalk last week.

"We took the opportunity to give the players a couple of days off this week; something we haven't been able to do for a while, so I'm hoping we're fresh for the match."

Michael McCrudden remains a long-term absentee with a broken leg, but Devine has an otherwise full deck to choose from.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC

St Patrick’s Athletic will look to reverse a two-game losing streak when they come face-to-face with Derry City on Friday evening.

Harry Kenny’s side fell to a heavy 3-0 defeat at home to Waterford on Friday night on the back of a tight 1-0 loss at Shamrock Rovers four days earlier.

Goals have been hard to come by for the Saints this season and they sit joint-bottom in the goalscoring stakes alongside basement side Finn Harps.

This is the first of three times Pats will face Derry in the next six weeks as their July league game has been brought forward to avoid a clash with their European games.

"We are hoping to see a positive response from the players after the defeat to Waterford last week," Saints boss Harry Kenny told stpatsfc.com.

"Derry are a really good side and are one place ahead of us in the league. They are going well under Declan Devine, and the Brandywell is a really tough place to go to.

“That said though, we'll be looking to pick up a positive result and reduce that gap to them in the league table."

Kevin Toner serves a suspension for accumulating five yellow cards, while Dean Clarke is injured, but Rhys McCabe returns after missing the Waterford game with concussion.

Referee: Derek Tomney

MATCH STATS

The sides have already met once this season, as Derry ran out 3-1 winners at Richmond Park in April.

Saints defender Kevin Toner was shown a straight red card early in that match, and he misses out again after accumulating five yellow cards.

Pats and Derry met four times in the league last season and once in the FAI Cup, with Derry winning three games to the Saints’ two.

Both Pats’ league wins came in the league and they scored five on both occasions, including on the final day.

That win over Derry was enough to earn Pats a fifth-placed finish and, following Waterford’s withdrawal, a place in the Europa League.

BETTING

Derry City 10/11; Draw 23/10; St Patrick’s Athletic 11/4.

PREDICTION

Derry City 3 – 1 St Patrick’s Athletic

Derry City

Injured: Matthew McCrudden.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

St Patrick’s Athletic

Injured: Dean Clarke.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: Kevin Toner.