League Preview: Finn Harps -v- St Patrick's Athletic

Fri, Sep 06 2019

Dave Webster celebrates for the Saints Credit: Paul Dolan (ETPhotos)

FINN HARPS

Harps will be looking to continue their pursuit of eighth placed Cork City when they host Europa League chasing St Patrick’s Athletic at Finn Park on Friday evening (kick-off is at 8pm).  

The Co. Donegal side were due to face the Saints last week, but the game was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch in Ballybofey.

Tonight’s clash also marks the 50th anniversary of the club’s first League of Ireland game, with manager Ollie Horgan encouraging the fans to come out in force to mark the occasion.

“50 years in League of Ireland football is a magnificent milestone and that is being marked tomorrow night, so it would be great that supporters from all over Donegal would turn out in big numbers for the Pat’s match.

“We need that support in every way for the current players, the Club and to honour all those who have worn the Harps jersey since 1969 and the men who managed those teams.”

Horgan soon added; “We have had a poor record against Pat’s this season. We lost twice and just managed a draw against up at Richmond Park at the start of the season.

“Stephen O’Donnell is in charge and I have no doubt that they will really be up for this game. Our lads are up for the challenge as well and are going to give it everything.

“It is the underdogs tag for us again, but we it would be great for everyone connected to the Club if could squeeze three points in our favour on a very special night for Harps.”

Michael Gallagher and Ciaran Gallagher remain on the injury list while Nathan Boyle and Mark Timlin are doubtful. Mark Russell is also suspended.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC

The Saints will be looking to begin the Stephen O’Donnell victory with a win on the road as they visit Finn Harps this evening.

O’Donnell was installed as the new Athletic boss earlier this week following the departure of Harry Kenny three weeks ago.

Speaking ahead of the game with his club’s media team, O’Donnell is expecting a tough challenge despite a positive week of training.

“Training has gone very well this week. The players attitude has been different class so we’re all looking forward to tomorrow.

“It’s never easy going up to Ballybofey and tomorrow will be no different. Everyone is eagerly anticipating the game and if training is anything to go by the boys are in a good frame of mind.

“You want to get points no matter what part of the season we’re in. I want that to be the St Pats mindset no matter who we play.

“I want us to turn up every week and expect to win so that’s the focus I want. I want our mindset to be one that wants to win and that starts now.”

Forward Mikey Drennan is the Saints only absentee as he misses out with suspension.

Referee: Paul Tuite.

 

MATCH STATS

St Patrick’s Athletic are unbeaten against the Co. Donegal side so far this season. Winning twice and drawing once against Ollie Horgan’s side.

There has been an average of one goal per game scored between the sides this season, with the Athletic scoring all three goals.

Harps last win over the Saints came in May 2017, with a three-one win sending the then Liam Buckley managed side to defeat at Finn Park.

BETTING

Finn Harps 11/4; Draw 9/4; St Patrick’s Athletic 10/11.

PREDICTION

Finn Harps 1 - 0 St Patrick’s Athletic

 

Finn Harps

Injured: Michael Gallagher, Ciaran Gallagher

Doubtful: Nathan Boyle, Mark Timlin

Suspended: Mark Russell.

 

St Patrick’s Athletic

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: Mikey Drennan.