Derry City will be keen to bounce back from their league cup hammering at Sligo in mid week when they take on Mick Cooke’s Drogheda United in an intriguing clash at the Brandywell on Friday night (k.o 7.45).
Drogheda are sitting in fourth position in the table, one place ahead of the Candystripes and Declan Devine will be keen to take advantage of the game being at home as he seeks to climb the table after an up and down season so far.
Devine is looking for his players to improve their patchy home form and said, " Our home form has been poor so we need to take responsibility and make sure we're better but we've got to get a few bodies back into the team. We knew at the start of the year we'd be working off a smaller panel and when four or five of your most experienced players are missing its very difficult."
Owen Morrison, who has been in terrific form over the last few weeks, added, "In the last six games before Tuesday we've only been beaten once. We've been on a decent run so we shouldn't be too down on ourselves. That said, we need three points at the Brandywell on Friday night".
Derry will have to do without the services of both their first choice centre halves Stewart Greacen and Ryan McBride through suspension, their first choice central midfield partnership of Barry Molloy and Kevin Deery through injury, and prolific striker Mark Farren who is still struggling to shake off a hamstring injury. So it could be a difficult night for the Foylesiders.
Mick Cooke brings this seasons surprise package Drogheda United to the Brandywell looking to pull clear into fourth place.
"We're going well at the moment. It was nice to get a win against Dundalk in the first game after the break and it keeps the spirits high. I don't know any player who doesn't enjoy going to Derry, especially with the atmosphere their fans create. It's always a wonderful experience. I've had good results against Derry in my career and we have already beaten them earlier this year. But we are under no illusions that this will be an easy game and I'm sure they will provide tough opposition. The surface there is one of the best in the league and the big crowds always make for a good atmosphere".
Brian Gannon, Sean Brennan and Philip Hand all face fitness tests whilst new signing Conor McMahon is expected to be included in the Drogheda panel.
Referee: Neil Doyle.
Derry City have only managed seven goals in seven games at home this season.
The previous encounter between these sides this season was won 2-0 by Drogheda.
Derry City have had five red cards this season, but none at home.
Derry City 5/6; Draw 12/5; Drogheda United 16/5.
Derry City 1 v 1 Drogheda United
Derry City Injury News: Barry Molloy (knee), Kevin Deery (knee), Mark Farren (hamstring).
Derry City Suspension News: Stewart Greacen, Ryan McBride.
Drogheda United Injury News: None.
Drogheda United Suspension News: None.