Derry City will be hoping to close the gap on third placed Waterford this weekend and then use their game in hand over the third place club to go level on thirty-six points. As things stand Derry sit one place and six points behind Waterford in fourth, but could drop a couple of places in the Premier Division if they lose on Friday. Sligo Rovers haven’t had the best of seasons and are unlikely to improve on their current position of eighth this weekend, as they sit three points behind Bohemians and have a worse goal difference.
When these two clubs locked horns last month for their reverse league fixture, hosts Sligo Rovers were beaten 2-0. Patterson set the ball rolling in the seventeenth minute with the games opening goal, one that handed Derry the advantage at the break. This heated game saw each side receive four bookings and the visitors control the majority of the ninety minutes, but the three points weren’t secured until Ronan Hale’s seventy-fourth minute strike that handed Derry City a 2-0 victory.
Heading into their latest encounter neither the home nor the away side can claim to be in goof form. However, with two wins, one draw, and three defeats Derry City do earn the title of form favourites. Sligo Rovers have only managed one win from their last six matches, picking up two draws, and suffering three defeats. In five of Sligo’s last six matches only one side has scored and the same can be said about three of Derry’s last six matches. Three of the last four meetings between Derry and Sligo have also only seen one team score and that’s why we’re backing just one side to get on the scoreboard in Friday nights game.
Derry midfielder McEneff has been in fantastic goal scoring form this season, netting ten goals in nineteen appearances. Teammate Ronan Hale scored the winner the last time the sides met and has scored six goals in the Premier Division this season. Sligo Rovers top scorer in the league is Morgan with just four goals, and the striker is one of just three players to have scored more than once for the visitors so far this campaign.
We’re confident that at most one team will score in this game, as Sligo Rovers last three games have seen the visitors draw a blank. Derry have been decent at home in recent weeks and should have enough in them to take all three points via a narrow 1-0 win on Friday.
Derry City Predicted Lineup: Doherty, Cole, Toal, McDermott, Doyle, Low, McEneff, McDonagh, Rory Hale, Curtis, Patterson.
Sligo Rovers Predicted Lineup: Beeney, Sharkey, Callan-McFadden, Waters, Eduardo Pincelli, Cawley, McCabe, McAleer, Wixted, Keaney, Morrison.
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These two sides clubs have met sixty-five times before, and with 25 wins, 20 draws, and 20 defeats its Sligo Rovers who hold the head to head advantage. Both teams have won two of the previous four encounters.
Chris Turner is the only player expected to miss Friday’s game through injury for the hosts.
John Mahon is suspended and Gary Boylan, Regan Donelon, Adam Morgan, Patrick McClean, and Michael Schlingermann could all miss the game due to injury.