IRELAND: Premier Division
Venue: Oriel Park (Dundalk)
Dundalk and Derry City meet in the League of Ireland Premier Division on Friday evening with just a point separating the two teams in the standings. While Dundalk only sit narrowly behind the visitors, Derry head into this contest as one of the form teams in the league. Despite their status as the biggest club in Ireland over the past five seasons, Dundalk have recorded back-to-back wins on just one occasion since March.
Vinny Perth has since returned to Oriel Park, claiming four points from his opening two fixtures to move the club into seventh position. The recently-appointed boss will expect to make further progress up the standings providing that Dundalk can maintain the defensive improvements made during the 1-0 triumph at Drogheda United. Michael Duffy netted the decisive goal during that fixture, finally ending an eight-match wait for his second strike of the season.
Dundalk face opponents in Derry who have not suffered defeat during the same period, keeping the team in contention for the top five. While five of those games ended in draws, Ruaidhri Higgins will be delighted with the character shown by his team after a slow start to the campaign.
Much has been made of Derry’s abysmal form at home, but claiming each of their five victories on their travels makes them a tough test for any team in the division. You have to go back to April 9 for their last away setback with 16 points coming from a possible 18 since their loss at leaders St Patrick’s Athletic.
Will Patching has scored doubles in each of Derry’s last two wins on the road, but the playmaker is unable to line up against his parent club on Friday.
- Dundalk’s form in last 5 matches: WDLWL.
- Scotland’s form in last 5 matches: DWDWD