Derry City -v- St. Patrick's AthleticThu, Oct 18 2012
Derry City go into this dress rehearsal for the cup final in excellent form and will hope to continue that as they seek to cement a place in next season's Setanta Cup when they face St Patrick's Athletic at the Brandywell on Friday evening(kick-off 7.45pm).
Apart from a defeat against UCD, this month has seen the Candystripes defeat Mervue United, Dundalk, Shelbourne and Shamrock Rovers, scoring seventeen goals in the process. Added to that the manager has made it clear that places in the starting XI for the cup final are still up for grabs meaning the players will be keen to continue their good form in the last league game of the campaign.
They will have to do so however without the services of striker Rory Patterson who was superb against Shamrock Rovers last time out as he will be suspended after amassing four yellow cards. Mark Farren is also struggling to shake off a hip flexor complaint in what is set to be an emotional last appearance at the Brandywell for the club's record goalscorer.
Speaking to the Derry News, manager Declan Devine commented "Everybody is busting a gut to play and that's the way I want it. It's important it stays like that between now and November 4. We're trying to put the final at the back of our minds because it's important we finish off the league campaign positively.
"Some people are saying that players will be rested but I don't see the point in that. We need to be strong and put on a good performance in what will be a very difficult game. Pats are going for second place so they will be equally as determined".
Look for the likes of Barry McNamee, David McDaid and Kevin Deery to press their claims for a cup final spot.
ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
St Patrick's Athletic will be keen to ensure Europa League football next season with a result in the Brandywell on Friday night.
They are also coming off a good run of form with comprehensive defeats of UCD and Dundalk in the last couple of weeks as well as pushing the champions to their very limit last time out. The players will, like Derry, see this game as an opportunity to impress the manager in the run up to the cup final with competition for places on the big day sure to be keenly contested.
Sean O'Connor will miss the game after his sending off last week, former Candystripe cult hero Stephen O'Flynn will miss out with an Achilles problem whilst Mark Rossiter will continue his rehabilitation from a knee injury. Ryan Coombes and Jake Kelly will however come back into contention after international duty and injury respectively.
Manager Liam Buckley said "We have two games left this season and we want to finish second so we’ll be looking for two more results to secure that place, starting firstly with Derry on Friday. We can guarantee our place in Europe for next season with a draw in the Brandywell, but we haven’t gone out to play for a draw this season to date, and we won’t intend to start doing that on Friday. We had a tough game in Derry earlier in the season, and it’ll be no different this time round but hopefully we can get a result."
St Pats will be looking to the very impressive Chris Forrester as they seek to gain a season clean sweep over the home side.
Referee: D McKeon
St Patrick's Athletic have won both previous league fixtures this season with Derry failing to score in both games.
St Pats have only lost one league game away from home this season, to the champions Sligo Rovers.
Derry City chalked up their 400th League of Ireland victory in their last game.
Derry City 9/4 Draw 11/5 St Pats 23/20.
Derry City 2-2 St Pats
Derry City Injury News: Mark Farren(Hip flexor)
Derry City Suspension News:Rory Patterson
St Pats Injury News:.Mark Rossiter(knee),Stephen O'Flynn(achilles)
St Pats Suspension News: Sean O'Connor.
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 email@example.com or on Twitter @JamieMahon23.