This game is a hard one to call. Pat’s are one of only two clubs (along with Sligo) to still be unbeaten following the opening nine series of fixtures.
Derry meanwhile come into the game on the back of some good form. Having knocked Shamrock Rovers out at the semi-final stage of the Setanta Cup, they then came back from 1-0 down to secure a valuable (and confidence boosting) 1-1 draw at the home of the league champions. Pat’s meanwhile are themselves coming into this weekend’s fixture on the back of a good 1-1 draw in Sligo.
Having recovered from their shock (1-2) home reverse to Dundalk, Derry would be my slight favorites (they are 6/4 for the win) to nick this one. The Candystripes will be confident of victory as they have not lost to the visitors in nearly four years – a run which covers some nine matches between the pair. Whoever wins; this should be an entertaining game as both teams like to pass and move and get forward in numbers. Definitely a good choice of game to be shown by the live television cameras!
DERRY TEAM NEWS: Patrick McEleney is suspended while Stewart Greacen (knee), Kevin Deery (knee) and Mark Farren (hamstring) are set to miss out. Rory Patterson, Stephen McLaughlin and Shane McEleney could feature after returning to training.
St. Pat’s TEAM NEWS: midfielder James Chambers (knee) is likely to be on the sidelines for six to eight weeks, while Stephen O’Flynn still has a slight thigh strain.
A win for Derry would put them within two points of Pat’s, while a win for the Dubliners would see them pushing for top spot.
Both managers have highlighted the importance of the fixture, with Derry boss Declan Devine stating: ”We have to pick ourselves up again this week and get to the level of passion and commitment we showed last Friday night. So far this season we haven’t utilised the home support and the advantage that gives us, but we must use it to our adavantage against St Pat’s.”
Pat’s boss Liam Buckley meanwhile stated that the Brandywell is one of the toughest places to come to in the league and that their new boss [Devine] has done a tremendous job there.