Derry City v Shamrock Rovers, Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, 7.45pm

After a terrific showing against Slovan Bratislava that almost earned progression in the Champions League, it's back to the bread and butter of trying to maintain their lead at the top of the SSE Premier Division table for Stephen Bradley's side.

Indeed the manager will be looking for a level of consitency, perhaps lacking in recent games where points were dropped.

Derry, in many respects, lead that group of teams currently cut adrift from those above them who have their eye on Euroopean spots. After going down to defeat last week against Pat's, in a game where they played against ten men for the last half hour, the Candystripes will be keen to get their first win in four matches.

Team news

Derry City: Striker Jamie McGonigle is available for selection having missed last week's defeat to St Pat’s. Marc Walsh is still out with a hamstring problem.

Shamrock Rovers: Sean Hoare and Chris McCann are suspended. Neil Farrugia out injured.

What they said

Ruaidhri Higgins (Derry City manager): "I know they have played Tuesday night, but confidence will be high because of the performance they put in," Higgins told The Derry Journal. "They have also got numerous options to bring in that doesn't weaken their team, so we know no matter what team takes the pitch they are the best team in the country.

Stephen Bradley (Shamrock Rovers manager): I felt the players' performance (on Tuesday) deserved more. They deserved to go through, but it wasn't to be. But we'll learn from it and move on. Derry is going to be a really difficult game, we know that, but this group is hungry for more nights like Tuesday night and that starts with Derry on Friday - going up there and getting three points.

"It's a big pitch. We're comfortable on it because we're lucky enough to have a surface very similar in Roadstone which allows us to prepare right for it. We enjoy going up there, but Derry have been very good recently and it won't be an easy going at all. We need to be ready for that."


St Pat's Athletic v Drogheda United, Richmond Park, 7.45pm

St Pat's come into the game on the back of an excellent home win over Derry City last Friday.

Chris Forrester's goal midway through the first half was enough to seal victory, and despite being reduced to 10 men when Jamie Lennon received his second yellow card early in the second-half, the home side battled hard and were roared on by 500 home fans on their way to the three points.

The match is part of a government test event, meaning a slight increase in spectator numbers as up to 1000 people in Richmond Park (Including players, officials and other people deemed necessary to run the game, with all safety guidelines in place) can be present.

Drogheda, after their draw in Longford last time out, are currently level on points with Drogheda, but have played a game more.

Team news

St Pat's Athletic: Lee Desmond and Ian Bermingham return from suspension but Jamie Lennon will serve a one match ban for his red card last weekend, Shane Griffin is recovering well from his shoulder injury.

Drogheda United: Brandon Bermingham is missing for the trip to Inchicore due to a quad injury.

What they said

Stephen O'Donnell: (St Pat's Athletic head coach): "Tim Clancy is doing a great job at Drogheda. He's got a new two-year deal along with Kevin Doherty and rightly so.

"Drogheda are going very well. They drew with Longford and in their last away game they drew with Shamrock Rovers and then in-between that, they beat Finn Harps 3-1 after a goal down so we know they have players that can hurt us at the top end of the pitch and like last Friday, we need to apply ourselves to the upmost to get anything from the game."

Tim Clancy (Drogheda manager): "Things are going really well this year and we're hoping we can build on that next year. We’ve a young team and if we can keep all the lads we have and add a bit more to the squad, which we’re looking into next year, then there’ll be exciting times ahead."