Derry City v Finn Harps, Maginn Park, 7.45pm
Tickets: Sold Out
Radio Coverage: BBC Radio Foyle, Drive 105
Having suffered back to back defeats for the first time since taking over as Derry City boss, Kenny Shiels will be looking for his team to get back on track when they take on Finn Harps in Maginn Park this evening.
There is huge anticipation in the North West for the fixture and the limited capacity at Maginn Park means that the game was declared a sell out by the middle of the week. Shiels will be hoping that a large home support can get his side back to winning ways after they shipped three goals to both Bray Wanderers and Cork City.
Shiels of course opened his account as Derry City manager with a reverse in Finn Park on the opening night of the 2016 season, but his side exacted revenge with a 5-0 victory in Finn Park later in the season.
Shiels will have to plan without Rory Patterson and Barry McNamee but it appears the injury concerns over Conor McDermott may have receded. In addition, young full back Ben Doherty may also come into the reckoning to offer more cover at the back. Last week Shiels deployed McDermott to partner Aaron Barry in the heart of defence but may also wish to consider Arron Netzer or Scott Whiteside to slot into the middle of the back four.
Mikhail Kennedy made his first League of Ireland start against Cork last week and whilst starved of possession for most of the game, showed some quicksilver touches and he may continue up front. Shiels may consider pairing him with either Nathan Boyle or Ronan Curtis who have also been amongst the goals this season.
Ollie Horgan recruited over the close season in order to ensure Harps stay in the top flight when the league reduces to ten teams. He will bring a host of ex Candystripes to Maginn with Barry Molloy and Patrick McCourt amongst the names best known to the home support. The Harps boss will have to plan without Ciaran O’Connor and Danny Morrissey and may play Sean Houston in a forward role. Houston, another ex Candystripe, has also been amongst the goals this season. The Donegal man also scored in the Brandywell fixture between the two sides.