Dundalk v Derry City – Fri 14th Feb – KO 7.45pm – Oriel Park, Dundalk
SSE Airtricity League
Cancel your Valentine’s Day plans because the “Greatest League in the World” is back and it starts this Friday with Derry City heading to Oriel Park to take on the champions Dundalk.
It’s been another busy pre-season behind the scenes and a new crop of players face a stern test against the Lilywhites who have been crowned champions in five of the last six seasons.
City boss Declan Devine has stated publicly that he has set a target to beat one of the top three this year, something the Candystripes didn’t manage last season and their first chance will come on Friday night.
Derry accumulated just five points out of a possible 36 against Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians in the previous campaign and the manager has laid out his attempts to amend that this season:
“It’s a great chance for us to see how far the team has progressed over the course of our pre-season programme.”
“We want to be closer to the top than we were last year, we will strive to get better and we want to represent our people who have thought for everything they have ever had.”
|Team||PPG V Top Half||PPG V Bottom Half||Difference|
(Source: RTE Sport)
It’s fair to say that Derry showed the better of their form against the teams in the bottom half of the table as the graphic above illustrates but Devine is hellbent on fixing that record in the season ahead:
“I always want to do better than the previous year. I would like to win silverware in this tenure at the club; This year I would like to finish in the top three and I would like to win a trophy.”
“We want to get to the levels that Dundalk are at, but ultimately it’s about getting the three points and going and giving a performance.” (BBC NI)
Dundalk won 16 of their 18 home games in the league last season drawing another two but Derry will come here with plenty of belief and great endeavour as expected from a side managed by Declan Devine.
The Creggan man was manager the last time the Candystripes came here and left with all three points in 2013 and he will be quietly confident of upsetting the odds and reliving those memories.
Match Preview by Niall Keenan.
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