St Patrick's Athletic host Derry City in Richmond Park this Friday as the Saints look to return to winning ways in the SSE Airtricity League (kick-off 7.45pm).
Having lost their last two games away to both Bray Wanderers and Cork City in the league, Liam Buckley's side will be hoping to defeat the high flying Candystripes who lie in third place heading into the game in Inchicore.
Following last Monday's 3-2 after extra-time win over Bray Wanderers in the EA Sports Cup, the Saints remain without the services of Christy Fagan through injury, while both Jack Bayly (thigh strain) and Conor O'Malley (ankle) also miss out.
"Derry are going very well this season to date and had a great win in the EA Sports Cup during the week so we're expecting them to be full of confidence. They will come to Inchicore for the win so we have to be at it from the get go," Saints' manager Liam Buckley admitted when speaking to stpatsfc.com.
"We needed the win on Monday to bounce back for the two defeats before that so hopefully the players can carry that form through on Friday. It's been a few weeks since we've been last in Richmond Park so we need to put on a performance for the fans and if we can do that, hopefully we can get the three points."
The Saints progression to the EA Sports Cup Semi-Finals has co-incided with the return of young striker Jamie McGrath into the Saints' squad and the Meath born player has admitted he has been delighted to get back in the first team.
"I missed all of pre-season due to injury so to get back into the team in the last few weeks has been great," McGrath told stpatsfc.com. "To finally get on the scoresheet last Monday was great as I'd come close in a few games so it was a bit of a relief to see the ball hit the net."
McGrath is one of a number of Saints on scholarship with Maynooth University and his development at the university saw him once coached by former Saint and current Derry City midfielder Conor McCormack. McGrath cited McCormack's presence in the Derry team as a sign of the Candystripe's strength this season.
"Conor was really good to me at Maynooth as a coach when I was on the fresher's team and also as a teammate at Pat's last year. I remember I made my debut against Longford Town and he helped a lot that night so it'll be good to catch up with him.
"Conor is now playing regularly for Derry so with players of his calibre in the team, we know that they'll give us a tough game on Friday. We'll be up against it, but last Monday gave us some confidence so we'll be going out to win."
McGrath was one of the stars of the Saints' U19 SSE Airtricity League Final win over Derry City just over 12 months ago - the Saints striker will be hoping to see the Inchicore side defeat the Candystripes once more.
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