Athlone Town will be looking for revenge when they host near neighbours Longford Town in the First Division after 11 successive league defeats for the League of Ireland’s oldest club (kick-off 7.45pm).
They fell to a heavy 5-1 defeat the last time the midland’s rivals played one another as Rory McCullough’s early stunner was overcome by braces from Chris Mulhall and Dean Byrne before Evan Galvin sealed the deal.
Should Athlone stun their cross-town rivals with a big win over Neale Fenn’s Longford Town side, they could potentially move to within three points of ninth-placed Wexford.
Athlone’s last win over their local rivals came all the way back in 2013 as a Barry Clancy goal sent Athlone on their way to a big win in a highly-publicised midlands derby that saw a very public war of words from both camps in the build-up.
That result set Athlone on their way to the promised land that is the Premier Division as they secured promotion as champions.
Athlone have failed to provide any team news for this latest instalment of the Midlands El Clasico.
After playing out an entertaining 1-1 draw last weekend against Shelbourne at City Calling Stadium, Longford Town will be looking to get their promotion push back on track against local rivals Athlone.
The Red and Black Army have held the upper hand in these games throughout the last few seasons as they have won all their league games bar one against the First Division’s whipping boys.
Longford’s start to the season has been solid, yet unremarkable, so Neale Fenn and his backroom team will surely eye up this game as the perfect opportunity to get into the playoff places.
Longford come into this game with three players on the casualty list as Shane O’Connor, Alan Kehoe and Cian Byrne all miss out through injury problems which have kept the trio out of action n recent weeks.
Defensive option Adam O’Connor is also a doubt for the game at Lissywoolen with a hamstring strain.
In a welcome boost to Neale Fenn, he will have no players serving suspensions for this latest instalment of the Midlands El Clasico.
Should De Town win, they could climb up to as high as fourth in the league standings come the end of Friday night.
Referee: Garvin Taggart
In the last six games between the midlands rivals, there has been a remarkable 32 goals scored in 540 minutes, a statistic that means that a goal has been scored once every 16 minutes.
Longford’s biggest win all season came against Athlone in the last meeting between the pair as they came back from a goal behind to trounce their counterparts 5-1 at City Calling Stadium.
Athlone have, after the departure of Aaron Callaghan, improved in their recent games under the stewardship of Terry Butler but, the First Division’s basement side last win came a remarkable 385 days ago.
Athlone Town 14/1; Draw 7/1; Longford Town 1/12.
Athlone Town 0-3 Longford Town
Injured: Cian Byrne, Shane O’Connor, Alan Kehoe.
Doubtful: Adam O’Connor.