- Thursday March 17th, 2022 @ 12:00
Preview: Saints Vs Derry (18/03/22)
St Patrick's Athletic will travel North again on Friday night to take Derry City.
Kick-off at the Ryan McBride Brandywell stadium is at 7.45pm, the game will be live on LOITV with a small number of away tickets remain available HERE
The Saints come into the game top of the table, on the back of three impressive victories against Shamrock Rovers, Finn Harps and UCD AFC.
Their last outing against The Students on Monday night ended 2-0 to the Inchicore side.
Eoin Doyle's first-half finish after Darragh Burns delivered a terrific ball gave them a one goal lead at the break before Mark Doyle added a second with a beautiful half-volley from just outside the area to ensure all three points.
After recording three on the bounce, Tim Clancy and his comrades will be hoping to make it four in a row on Friday night.
Opposition Watch and Recent Meetings
Derry City have started well in the league, picking up 11 points from their first five games, they remain unbeaten with three wins and two draws, seeing them in third place coming into the weekend.
They were last in action on Monday night when they hosted Drogheda United. Two goals from striker Jamie McGonigle helped the Candystripes to all three points.
The teams met on four occasions last season, with the Saints winning twice, Derry winning once and the other ending in stalemate.
They first met in April 2021 when Robbie Benson and Darragh Burns were on target for St Pats in a 2-0 victory.
The return fixture at the Ryan McBride Brandywell was more of an even game and finished in an entertaining 2-2 draw.
Lee Desmond opened the scoring from a corner before goals from Ronan Boyce and Joe Thomson gave Derry a slight lead but Billy King's 84th minute equaliser rescued a point for St Patrick's Athletic.
When Derry returned to Richmond Park again two months later, a Chris Forrester goal 24 minutes was the only goal of the game as St Pats helped themselves to a 1-0 victory.
Derry finally avenged their two defeats in October.
Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe's goal was enough for Derry to finally claim victory over the Saints upon the fourth attempt.
View From The Dugout
Ahead of Friday's big game, Manager Tim Clancy is hoping is side can continue their positive run of form.
"It's just about maintaining it now and trying to get a bit of momentum.
We have a very difficult game on Friday night up in Derry so it is one that we are going into it with a little bit of confidence, but we know it's going to be extremely difficult.
They've had a brilliant start. Ruaidhri Higgins has continued on from last season. When he went in, I think they were bottom of the league and then they ended up finishing in a European spot, so I think it shows the turnaround that Higgs made up there.
They have had a very good start this season as well as well. They have an excellent squad so I have no doubt that at the end of the season, they will be there, there-abouts but for Friday, we are going to prepare and go up and try and win the game."
Eoin Doyle scored his first two league goals over the weekend against Finn Harps and UCD.
The header in Ballybofey was the 34-year old's first league goal for St Pat's, and his first League of Ireland goal since 2011.
Doyle says he has been enjoying his time back in Ireland.
"I'm enjoying how we are playing and the style of play and obviously the results that have been going with it as well. Our results and performances have been good and we are looking forward to Friday night in Derry."
After the two defeats against Sligo and Bohemians, we had a good chat and we worked on a few things, and we managed to put it right straight away which is good. I suppose it is good to get those lessons learnt early in the season so hopefully we don't go into a weekend like that again this season.
Our focus is now on Derry, they've been very good so far this season. They've started very well and they have recruited very well.
We'll see how it goes on Friday night, we're aiming to pick up the three points, it's all to play for!
Shamrock Rovers play Sligo on Friday night as well, so it is all go and the table on Saturday morning. Our plan is the finish up before the International break with three points if we can."
Team-news: Jamie Lennon (foot) will miss out, with Ian Bermingham and Paddy Barrett pushing to be available.
Tickets: A small number of away tickets remain available HERE
LOITV Live Stream: Match Pass Here
Updates: You can also catch build-up and updates across the day on our social media channels.
Photo credit: Inpho Sports