Derry City will be looking to claim top spot in the Airtricity Premier League when they host St Patrick’s Athletic at the Brandywell this Friday night kick off 7.45pm.
The Candystripes have been in excellent form this season and come into Friday’s game unbeaten in their last ten games, with their most recent victory coming against rock bottom Galway Utd. That night they comfortably saw of Galway 3-0 with striker Eamon Zayed again playing a vitally important role in the victory grabbing two goals.
Despite the recent loss of star winger James McClean, who joined Sunderland, Derry have virtually a full strength side to pick form for Friday’s game. This is in contrast to St Pats who come to Derry on the back of one of their most trying times in the clubs history.
Enough has been written about the off the field issues that surround the Dublin side. What will be of bigger concern to manager Pete Mahon will be fatigue catching up with his busy side. They are already without the suspended Gary Rogers and Shane McFaul while Anthony Murphy is injured and Stephen Bradley is rated very doubtful.
Couple these injuries with a hectic schedule of domestic and European football and Mahon is all to aware that he need to juggle his squad in the weeks ahead “We are without a number of key players this week but the team won’t change too much from the UCD game.
Every manager wants players completing for positions and we have this all over the park. We’ve played seventeen games since the start of June, not including A championship games.
We have a number of midweek games in the coming weeks, so squad rotation is becoming very important in keeping players fresh and injury free.”
With Pats having had such a draining last few weeks, both on and off the pitch, Derry have to be hot favourites to win this Friday. They are playing some of the best football in the league and getting the results when it matters.
They will also be full of confidence with their unbeaten spell they have at the moment and with Eamon Zayed continuing to lead the way up front Derry can beat St Pat’s and go outright leaders of the league come ten o’clock on Friday night.