Derry are going into this game on the back of a good result last week away to the champions Dundalk.
The Candystripes went 2-0 down in the second half when conceding two goals that could have been avoided with some better defending.
Declan Devine’s side were handed a lifeline when Darren Cole let one fly from the edge of the box into the bottom corner of the Dundalk net.
In the 80th minute Derry got awarded what looked to be a controversial penalty, which resulted in Dundalk’s Patrick Hoban being red-carded for a second yellow. To this day, Dundalk are scratching their heads to why it was awarded.
But the business wasn’t done until Eoghan Stokes casually strolled up to take his penalty and rolled it into the back of the Dundalk net, sending Gary Rogers the wrong way. Declan Devine can be happy with the response from his young team after going two behind and fighting back to draw in an eye-catching encounter.
St Pat’s form of late isn’t what Harry Kenny or the Super Saints fans would want. They lost 3-0 last week at home to Waterford in what you could say had a bit of needle to the game, with St Pats getting European football this season over Waterford FC by default.
The last two weeks haven’t been ideal for Pats, losing, as I mentioned, 3-0 to Waterford, having previously going down to bitter rivals Shamrock Rovers 1-0 in Tallaght Stadium. The worrying thing for Pats is not getting on the score-sheet in those two games.
There were signs earlier in the season that, in the next window, Pats will probably have to strengthen their attacking options and get some goals into their team, and the last two games show that’s what’s needed. You can say it’s slightly concerning for all involved with Pats that they have hit this sticky run of form and this next match might not see their luck change much.
This fixture earlier in the season finished 3-1 to Derry City in Inchicore. Generally, games between these teams produce a handful of goals. In their last 5 meetings, league and Cup, there have been 20 goals scored, with Derry winning 3 out of the last 5 meetings.
Derry’s home form this season has been up and down over the last few weeks. Losing to Shamrock Rovers followed by a win vs Cork then a defeat against Bohs. With St Pats away form only seeing them win one game on the road in their last five, and that was away to Finn Harps. I sense there will be goals in this game with both teams being leaky enough at the back when teams get at them.
Pats are lacking that cutting edge at the moment, but will be hoping to find their groove in the Brandywell on Friday night. Derry will be wanting to build on that pretty-impressive result in Oriel Park last Friday night.
There are signs that this Derry team can go through the gears when they need to. A young team put together by Declan Devine, a team that have built into the community of Derry and playing football the Derry City way.
They’ll be backed by a heavy home support on the night and they will be encouraging them every step of the way. Pats will know they have their work cut out on the night, especially after the game earlier in the season which saw Derry run out easy 3-1 winners.
The Brandywell is a tough place for anyone to go to, but even tougher when you’re on the back end of two nasty results on the spin. I can’t see anything else but a home win in this game.
Like I wrote earlier, this game normally throws up goals. For me this is going to be a home win but won’t be all that straightforward.
Even with a noisy home support to help the team along the way, goals should be plentiful on Friday night.
Pats need to start turning the corner this season and try and get the points on the board. They need to gain some momentum going into the European campaign.
Unfortunately I can’t see that happening this week.
I just think any sort of momentum in this game will be in favour of the home team.
Derry Win and both teams to score at 19/5
Derry HT-FT at 12/5