Ollie Horgan’s men were one of the teams tipped to get relegated at the start of the season but the Donegal side find themselves just outside the relegation zone in 8th and just one position behind their opponents for tonight, Bohemians (kick-off 8pm).
Harps beat fellow relegation contenders Drogheda United by two goals last weekend but manager Ollie Horgan says his side will have to be even better against Bohemians.
“We need to be at our full potential to get the better of Bohemians because they are a side that have kicked on in the last couple of months,” Horgan told Finn Harps website.
“Now, Bohs are looking towards the top of the table and are well positioned still to challenge for European football. Keith Long and Trevor Croly have got the team on a good run of results.
“To their credit they have upped their standards and with Akinade back as well they have lots of options in attack and they have added another striker Ciaran O’Connor who was with us in the first half of the season.”
In terms of team news, Barry Molloy and Caolan McAleer are the big doubts for Ollie Horgan as he plans for tonight’s game with neither player training on Wednesday night.
The Gypsies had been on a hot streak which saw them take ten points from 12 leading into their meeting with Dundalk last Wednesday night, which saw Keith Long’s side lose out 1-0 at Dalymount Park.
Despite the result, Long believes his side were at their best but with the focus turning to Finn Harps tonight he will be looking for his side to carry over that performance level to this week’s match.
“We had shown in patches in other games what we are capable of but I think that’s the best we’ve played over 90 minutes all season,” Long told Bohemians website.
“We have to keep searching for that level of performance. The challenge for us now is to replicate that.
“Finn Harps are obviously in and around us at the moment, so it’s an important game for both teams.
“We cannot afford to let our performance levels drop. Harps are a very resilient and determined team. They pick up results and are very effective, so we have to be ready for them. Our drive and determination is going to have to match theirs,” he added.
The Phibsborough club welcome back Dan Byrne and Oscar Brennan from suspension, while Georgie Poynton is also available after sitting out the Dundalk game due to the terms of his loan deal.
Ciaran O’ Connor, on loan from Dundalk, and Keith Dalton, signed from Dundalk, both go straight into the matchday squad.
Former Sunderland defender Dan Casey could also feature in the squad should his international clearance come through on time.
Captain Derek Pender misses out with a hamstring injury however, as does fellow defender Warren O’Hora.
Referee: Derek Tomney
Goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher is in line to make his 200th appearance for Harps against Bohemians on Friday night.
Bohemians have played Finn Harps in Ballybofey twice since they returned to the Premier Division, in 2015, drawing once and losing 2-0 in the second meeting.
Keith Long’s side have the best away form of any team in the bottom half of the table, winning five of their nine games on the road.
Finn Harps 17/10; Draw 23/10 ; Away 8/5.
Finn Harps 0-1 Bohemians
Doubtful: Caolan McAleer, Barry Molloy.
Injured: Warren O’Hora (hamstring), Derek Pender (hamstring).