A North West derby at the Brandywell on Friday night, as the home side welcome the league champions Sligo Rovers.
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This is undoubtedly the biggest game in the opening weekend of fixtures of this season’s Airtricity League of Ireland, and fans will be hoping that it can live up to expectations.
Sligo were deserving winners of the championship in 2012, and while Shamrock Rovers are likely to make them fight hard again this time round, the Connacht side will take plenty of beating and are rightly quoted towards the head of the outright winner betting.
Sligo Rovers did what all great sides need to do last season, grinding out the narrow 1-0 wins, and clinching results with last minute goals. The big wins also came their way, but it was the strong mentality and never say die attitude that really made their league success. Despite losing a number of their players in the close season, Rovers are one of the biggest clubs in the league and they look certain to challenge for honours again in 2013. Derry have been slowly progressing over the last few seasons and ended 2012 with an FAI Cup success. The Candystripes are one of the most successful clubs in the history of the domestic league and will be hoping for a top four finish at the very least.
Players To Watch
Kieran Djilali is a new Sligo overs signing who has plenty of experience in the lower leagues in England. He will be keen to make a big impression on his new club in the opening weeks. Gerard Doherty has remained with Derry for another season and will be called upon when the need arises in 2013.