Derry City v Finn Harps, Ryan McBride Brandywell, 7.45pm
Derry City and Finn Harps are getting ready for their second derby meeting in a number of weeks and Ollie Horgan will be hoping that the Donegal side can prevail once again.
Tunde Owolabi was the Harps hero in the FAI Cup a fortnight ago as his penalty 16 minutes from time proved the difference.
Owolabi, who scored a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over St Patrick's Athletic prior to that cup clash, followed it up with a goal in the side’s 2-1 win over Shamrock Rovers last time out.
Derry haven’t played since that FAI Cup loss and manager Ruaidhri Higgins will be hoping that the extra week’s preparation will pay off on their home patch.
City’s league form heading into the game is impressive as wins over Sligo, Derry, Drogheda and Longford have left third-placed Sligo Rovers in their sights.
Derry City: Marc Walsh will again miss out but Bastien Héry could feature having returned from international duty with Madagascar on Thursday night.
Finn Harps: Mark Timlin misses out through injury. Captain David Webster is suspended while Dan Hawkins, Johnny Dunleavy, Jordan Mustoe and Ryan Rainey are doubts.
What they said
Ruaidhrí Higgins (Derry City): "It will be a very tough game. I've said many times that this is the best Finn Harps squad I’ve seen in my time involved in this league.
"They have some really good players and are on a winning run of six matches including wins over the top two teams in the table."
Ollie Horgan (Finn Harps): "Derry are a seriously good side and tomorrow night could be our toughest game of the season. They'll be itching to make amends for a couple of weeks ago in what was a nothing game separated by only the penalty.
"They’ve got themselves up towards the European places and with the return of their own supporters they’ll be expecting three points to keep in the hunt for Europe."
Drogheda United v Bohemians, Head in the Game Park, 7.45pm
Drogheda United and Bohemians are level on points in the table, although the Louth outfit have two extra games played.
They could be without manager Tim Clancy here as he was sent off at the end of their draw with Sligo Rovers last week. It was his first game back having served a three-game ban for an earlier dismissal.
These sides drew back in May but Bohemians trashed United 5-0 a month later with Georgie Kelly grabbing four goals on the night.
Bohs haven't been in action since they dumped Shamrock Rovers out of the FAI Cup with a 2-1 win at Dalymount Park. Ali Coote’s strike to open the scoring will live long in the memory of their fans while Andy Lyons came up with a later winner after Rovers had drawn level.
Bohemains have only lost once in their last 10 league games, a 4-0 reversal at the hands of Sligo.
Drogheda United: to come
Bohemians: Robert Cornwall will miss the fixture after picking up five yellow cards.
Sligo Rovers v St Patrick's Athletic, The Showgrounds, 7.45pm
With Shamrock Rovers kicking off 15 minutes later, St Pat's have the chance to move to the top of the table – temporarily at least – if they avoid defeat in Sligo.
The RTÉ2 cameras will be at The Showgrounds to see if the visitors can keep up the pressure on the current leaders, who are going through something of a sticky patch currently.
Stephen O’Donnell’s side won their seventh straight match at home when they defeated Longford 3-2 last time out, and given that they have two extra games played on Rovers heading into this round of fixtures, they need to find similar form on the road.
A goalless draw with Drogheda last week brought Sligo’s losing run to an end.
The Bit O'Red entered the fixture on the back of seven losses in all competitions, and they had the crossbar to thank for preventing Daniel O’Reilly from extending that losing run late on.
A 50 per cent capacity is allowed so there could be up to 2,100 supporters could be in attendance, the biggest crowd at The Showgrounds in 18 months.
Sligo Rovers: Shane Blaney is ruled out with a foot injury. The defender is likely to miss the rest of the month's action. Greg Bolger and Melvyn Lorenzen were ruled out late on last week but return to the squad.
St Patrick's Athletic: John Mountney (knee), Robbie Benson (quad), Adam Murphy (hamstring) are all out. Vitezslav Jaros is available for selection after international duty with the Czech Republic U21s. Lee Desmond continues to work his way back after the injury he suffered against Waterford.
What they said
Liam Buckley (Sligo Rovers): "St Pat's have done well this season, they’ve a particular style of play and are up there at the head of the table. That said, I do feel we can get the result we’re looking for. It’s second against third as it stands and we want to be up there come the end of the season.
"It’s great to be able to have supporters back up to a couple of thousand. It has been a difficult couple of months and I’d love to be able to reward them for sticking with us when they couldn’t get into the stadium. That is something we’re aware of and we’ll be looking for the result on Friday night to make it a great welcome for them."
Stephen O'Donnell (St Patrick's Athletic): "It's always a tough game against Sligo. We got a last-gasp equaliser down there earlier in the season.
"Sligo have been going brilliantly. Obviously a little bit of a lean spell the last couple of months but still I have watched a lot of their games and a lot of those games could have gone either way, especially in recent weeks when they were just on the wrong end of it."
Shamrock Rovers v Waterford FC, Tallaght Stadium, 8pm
Shamrock Rovers are going through a difficult period following four straight defeats across three different competitions.
Back-to-back Europa Conference losses to FC Flora and an FAI Cup loss to Dublin rivals Bohemians was followed by a surprise 2-1 loss to Finn Harps in the league in their last outing.
Manager Stephen Bradley thought that the performance was okay in Donegal and pointed to Rory Gaffney hitting the post when the game was goalless as the key moment.
There's no need to panic just yet though and a home game against a Waterford side sitting third last in the table presents a good chance to get back on track.
Waterford are aiming for their first win over Rovers since 2018, and despite their lowly league position they are in a rich vein of form.
Anthony Wordsworth’s goal secured a draw with Dundalk last week and that means they have only suffered one loss in their last seven league games, the Munster side taking 16 points from a possible 21 in that period.
Shamrock Rovers: Roberto Lopes is set to return for Rovers while a number of other players will have their fitness assessed before the game.
Waterford FC: Daryl Murphy remains out but Marc Bircham has no other injury concerns.
What they said:
Stephen Bradley (Shamrock Rovers): "We're obviously in a strong position. We’re top of the league. We’ve lost a league game and I think we need to relax and trust what we do.
"This team has lost six domestic games in two and a half years. I think we need to understand that that happens. It’s football, it happens. We’ve had a little test and I’ve no doubt we’ll come through it. We’ll be fine."
Marc Bircham (Waterford FC): "We started too slow again last week (v Dundalk) and were behind so quick so that's something we’re looking at sorting. We have a game plan and we’re having to change when we concede early.
"But I was pleased with our reaction. We got a point but we could have got three with all the pressure we put on Dundalk in the final quarter and if a couple of decisions had gone our way.
"This Friday will prove another very tough challenge for us. They’re a top class side and we know we can’t afford to not be on our game. We’ve prepared well, had a good week in training and we have our game plan going up there. We want to win. We’re not going to just take part."