Sligo Rovers will look to stretch their unbeaten run to six games as they welcome Derry City to the Showgrounds on Saturday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
A thrilling 3-3 draw away to Waterford last time out brought Liam Buckley’s side’s two-game winning run come to an end but kept them level with the Blues on 20 points.
Goals from Kris Twardek, Rónán Coughlan (who also missed a penalty) and Romeo Parkes saw the Bit O’ Red share the points despite leading twice on the night.
And victory by two goals or more over the Candystripes tonight would see Buckley leapfrog his former club St Patrick’s Athletic into the top half of the table.
“Derry have done fantastically well and are [fourth in the table] on merit,” Buckley told the club’s website.
“We have improved since the defeat up there. I’ve said it about so many teams of not a lot being between them, and it’s the case here.
“Derry have some good players but we have some here as well and we are getting better. I’d like for us to show that on Saturday and bring an intensity from early on.
“We do realise they are six points ahead of us and on Saturday 10pm I’d like it to be three points.
“We’ve got a few performances now but we’re not finished. We want to grow this project together. I want the players to feel for the fans and the fans to feel for the players.
“We are doing our best to get this better. By the end of this season I want everyone to be contented partners and Saturday is a chance to take a step towards that.”
Buckley will have defenders Kyle Callan-McFadden and John Mahon available as they return from injury and suspension respectively, but John Dunleavy is a doubt.
Derry City face into a busy period with a trip down the north-west coast to face in-form Sligo Rovers.
The Bit o’ Red have logged just one defeat in their last eight, while the Candystripes find themselves winless in three as they’ve fallen five points behind third-placed Bohemians.
They were held to a 1-1 draw at home to St Patrick’s Athletic – coincidentally, their opponents on Tuesday – last time out.
Barry McNamee had fired Declan Devine’s side into an early lead but a world-class strike from Lee Desmond earned the Saints a share of the spoils.
"We talk about it every week just how tough and competitive this ten-team league is,” Devine told the club’s website.
"Sligo are on a great run that has lifted them towards the top half of the table and they will be full of confidence. This is going to be yet another major test for us.
"We can however only look after ourselves and ensure that we prepare in the proper manner and that has certainly been the case this week.”
Patrick McClean and Michael McCrudden are definite absentees but Devine doesn’t expect to be missing any other first-team players for the trip to Sligo.
"We have a couple of niggles but nothing major although Patrick McClean remains sidelined as well obviously as Mickey McCrudden."
"Apart from that we've been working hard and are in great shape so we're ready for the challenge."
Referee: Damien McGraith
The sides’ only previous meeting this season saw the Candystripes record a comfortable 2-0 victory at the Brandywell.
David Parkhouse and Ciaron Harkin scored in the second-half as Declan Devine’s side began a five-game winning streak in all competitions.
The four league meetings between the sides last season saw Sligo win three and lose one, while Derry won on their way to lifting the EA Sports Cup.
Sligo Rovers 23/10; Draw 21/10; Derry City 6/5.
Sligo Rovers 2 – 1 Derry City
Doubtful: John Dunleavy (hamstring).
Injured: Patrick McClean, Michael McCrudden.