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Derry City vs. Drogheda United And Dundalk vs. Waterford United - Preview

Derry City vs. Drogheda United And Dundalk vs. Waterford United – Preview

Derry City will aim to secure their fourth consecutive League of Ireland Premier Division victory when they host struggling Drogheda United at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Friday night.

Currently, Derry City sits in second place on the league table, just two points behind leaders Shelbourne. In stark contrast, Drogheda United is at the bottom, having accrued only 16 points in what has been a challenging season so far.

Match Preview

Derry City enters this match on the back of a three-game winning streak, with recent victories over Waterford, Galway United, and Bohemians. Their last stumble came in a scoreless draw with Dundalk on May 31.

With a record of 11 wins, eight draws, and four losses from their 23 league matches this season, Derry has accumulated 41 points. This impressive form keeps them firmly in the title race, trailing Shelbourne by a mere two points, although Shelbourne does have a game in hand.

Under the guidance of Ruaidhri Higgins, Derry City finished second in the league last season, just seven points behind champions Shamrock Rovers. This season, they are once again vying for the top spot, aiming to add to their League of Ireland Premier Division titles from 1988-89 and 1996-97.

Derry City has been unbeaten since a 1-0 loss to Shamrock Rovers on May 20. Moreover, they have not lost to any team other than Shamrock Rovers since the end of March.

On the other hand, Drogheda United is languishing at the bottom of the table with just 16 points from 21 matches, resulting from three wins, seven draws, and eleven defeats. They are three points behind ninth-placed Dundalk and eight points adrift of eighth-placed Bohemians, who have two games in hand.

Kevin Doherty’s Drogheda is currently enduring a seven-game winless streak in the league, including five defeats. Their last victory was a 2-1 win over Dundalk in early May, and they hold the worst away record in the league, with just three points from 11 games.

The last encounter between these two sides ended in a 2-2 draw in April. However, Drogheda has managed only one win in their last ten league meetings with Derry City.

Team News

Derry City will miss the services of Patrick McEleney, Jordan McEneff, and Colm Whelan due to injuries. Head coach Higgins is likely to stick with the same starting lineup that faced Bohemians, meaning Danny Mullen will continue to be an option from the bench despite scoring the winner in the previous match.

Patrick Hoban, who has netted 11 league goals this season, will lead Derry’s attack.

Drogheda United will be without Gary Deegan and Aaron McNally due to muscular issues, and Oisin Gallagher is suspended. There is also uncertainty over Zishim Bawa’s availability after he was substituted in the first half against Galway United. Frantz Pierrot, the club’s joint-top scorer with five goals, is expected to return to the starting lineup.

Predicted Lineups

Derry City:

• Maher

• Dummigan, Connolly, McEleney, Doherty

• O’Reilly, Diallo

• McMullan, Patching, Duffy

• Hoban

Drogheda United:

• Wogan

• Heeney, Quinn, Keaney, Kane

• Brennan, O’Brien

• Foley, Markey, Weir

• Pierrot

Derry City look to continue their winning momentum and Drogheda United fights to turn their season around in what promises to be an exciting clash.

Relegation-threatened Dundalk will aim to boost their survival hopes when they welcome the impressive Waterford United to Oriel Park for a League of Ireland clash on Friday night.

Dundalk managed to secure a narrow 1-0 victory over Sligo Rovers in their last outing, while Waterford United fell short against league leaders Shelbourne.

Match Preview

Facing the possibility of relegation to the second tier of Irish football for the first time since 2008, Dundalk earned a crucial three points on June 13 against Sligo Rovers. The decisive moment came from former Republic of Ireland international Daryl Horgan, who scored the only goal of the match. Youngster Sean Molloy kept a clean sheet, helping the Lilywhites to their fourth win of the 2024 season.

Dundalk has collected seven points from their last four matches, suffering only one defeat to Shelbourne. This recent form suggests that Jon Daly’s side could potentially escape relegation if they maintain their momentum. Despite this improvement, Dundalk’s struggle to find the net remains a concern, having scored just 13 goals in 21 league matches—four fewer than any other team in the division.

Their home scoring record is even more dismal, with only four goals in 10 matches at Oriel Park. Nevertheless, Dundalk has only lost twice at home this season, meaning Waterford should not expect an easy game.

Waterford United, under Keith Long, finished second in the second tier last season and have since established themselves as a strong force in the top division. Long celebrated his 31st competitive win with Waterford in his 57th game in charge on June 7, when his team thrashed Sligo Rovers 4-1. However, Waterford comes into this clash after a narrow defeat to title-chasing Shelbourne.

Will Jarvis, who joined from Hull City, has been a standout performer for Waterford, scoring his eighth league goal of the season against Shelbourne. Waterford sits fourth in the league standings, 12 points behind Dundalk, indicating that relegation is not a concern for them this season.

Padraig Amond has been Waterford’s star player, leading the Golden Boot race with 11 goals in 21 matches after returning to Ireland from a career in the lower leagues of England.

Team News

For Dundalk, young goalkeeper Sean Molloy has taken over following George Shelvey’s departure, with Peter Cherrie ready as a backup. Ross Munro, who was initially Shelvey’s replacement, is sidelined with a muscle injury. Dundalk’s attacking options are limited due to the injury of Jamie Gullan, their five-goal striker, who missed the win over Sligo.

Waterford will be without Fleetwood Town loanee Maleace Asamoah, who is recovering from an injury sustained earlier this month. Rowan McDonald was substituted after 30 minutes against Shelbourne, and Niall O’Keeffe might replace him in the starting lineup. Despite failing to score against Shelbourne, Waterford is expected to stick with their front three of Amond, Connor Parsons, and Ben McCormack.

Predicted Lineups

Dundalk:

• Molloy

• Bradshaw, Johnson, Davies, Boyle, Muller

• Benson, Doyle, Horgan, O’Kane

• Elliott

Waterford United:

• Sargeant

• Power, Horton, Radkowski, Leahy

• Pattison, O’Keeffe, McMenamy

• Parsons, Amond, McCormack

Dundalk fight for survival and Waterford United aims to continue their impressive season in what promises to be an intriguing clash at Oriel Park.

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