FC Midtjylland v Derry City
Kenny Shiels leads Derry City into European competition for the first time this evening in Herning and he couldn’t have asked for a larger challenge.
City opponents FC Midtjylland have caused plenty of shocks in European football in recent years and as one of the top ranked sides in the draw, will be looking to sweep the Candystripes aside and move on to the next challenge. The Danes qualified via their domestic playoff system, but have invested strongly since the close of their season.
Most of the new additions are full internationals with Norwegian striker Alexander Sorloth one of the stand out acquisitions. This is contrasted to City who have added Darren Cole, Jamie McIntyre and Eoin Toal in recent weeks. None of the new signings will be available to play so Shiels will be forced to work with current resources. This prepared was seriously hampered in recent days with the news that both Conor McDermott and Barry McNamee have been ruled out of the game through injury.
City arrived in the city of Herning last night and trained at the MCH arena at 20:00, the same time as tonight’s fixture. Speaking to the media, the City manager admitted that the focus would be on containing the visitors and trying to stay in the game for as long as possible. FC Midtjylland sent a scout to last week’s fixture against Cork City and thus will be well briefed on the Candystripes. The Danish League is out of season and therefore the same option was not available to Shiels and his management, but City have reviewed videos from last season.
Shiels wasn’t giving much away with regards to team selection last night, but it likely that City will start with a loan front man in Rory Patterson. In defence City will be forced to rejig, with either Scott Whiteside coming into the middle or Dean Jarvis swapping into the centre. It is likely that City will need to curb the normal attacking tendencies of Low and McEneff in the middle and need to ensure that they are resolute in tracking their runners.
The game kicks of at 8pm and is live on BBC Radio Foyle and Drive 105