Derry City v Finn Harps, Maginn Park, 7.45PM
As Derry welcome Finn Harps to Maginn Park for the third and final North West derby of the season, the Candystripe boss has a number of injury concerns.
Both sides are seeking three points for very different reason – City continue to push Shamrock Rovers for third spot in the Premier Division, whereas Harps are in a desperate scrap for survival at the foot of the table. With four games left for City, third spot is still in their sights, but they need to build on the nervy victory over Drogheda last time out, which halted an alarming slide in form.
Conor McDermott picked up an injury in that game which forced him to miss Northern Ireland U-21 duty during the week and he remains a doubt for the game. Nathan Boyle and Jamie McIntyre are both confirmed absentees and City are also sweating on the fitness of Dean Jarvis. Nicky Low is also unavailable for the game due to suspension.
On a brighter note, Ronan Curtis and Ben Doherty were in U-21 actions for both Irish international sides during the week – with Kenny Shiels a keen spectator in Tallaght Stadium last week to watch Curtis play against Norway.
For Harps, Ollie Horgan has his own concerns – with Paddy McCourt highly unlikely to play again this season after being forced off against Dundalk. Ethan Boyle and Sean Houston are also highly doubtful for the men from Ballybofey.
The arrival of Horgan at Finn Park has seen a significant improvement in Harps’ records against Derry and he has recorded victories against the Candystripes in each of the last two season. Harps won early in the season in Maginn when first half sub BJ Banda made the opening, before Funston made it two nil. In the return fixture in Finn Park, Derry got revenge with late goals from Darren Cole and McEneff wrapping up the three points.
Its is City penultimate game in Maginn Park and with the added spice of a North West derby with so much at stake, a large crowd is expected at the Buncrana venue. Tickets are available from outlets or online