City and Finn Harps are getting ready for their second derby meeting in a number of weeks and Ollie Horgan will be hoping that the Donegal side can prevail once again.
Tunde Owolabi was the Harps hero in the FAI Cup a fortnight ago as his penalty 16 minutes from time proved the difference.
Owolabi, who scored a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over St Patrick’s Athletic prior to that cup clash, followed it up with a goal in the side’s 2-1 win over Shamrock Rovers last time out.
Derry haven’t played since that FAI Cup loss and manager Ruaidhri Higgins will be hoping that the extra week’s preparation will pay off on their home patch.
Higgins described his side’s performance in the recent cup game at Ballybofey as “flat” but said he saw the reaction in training this week that he had been looking for.
City’s league form heading into the game is impressive as wins over Sligo, Derry, Drogheda and Longford have left third-placed Sligo Rovers in their sights.
Said Higgins: “It will be a very tough game. I’ve said many times that this is the best Finn Harps squad I’ve seen in my time involved in this league.
“They have some really good players and are on a winning run of six matches including wins over the top two teams in the table.
“They’ll want to play it down but they will have one eye on a European place this season.”
On the recent defeat to Harps, Higgins said: ““We weren’t great in that cup game but there haven’t been too many performances like that from us to be fair.
“The short break hasn’t done us any harm.
“I think the players are re-energised and there has been a real hunger around the training ground to get going again.
“Apart from the blip in the cup we’ve been going well ourselves.
“However, we’ll be looking to pick up three points on Friday night.”
Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan said: “Derry are a seriously good side and tomorrow night could be our toughest game of the season.
“They’ll be itching to make amends for a couple of weeks ago in what was a nothing game separated by only the penalty.
“They’ve got themselves up towards the European places and with the return of their own supporters they’ll be expecting three points to keep in the hunt for Europe.”
Derry City: Marc Walsh will again miss out but Bastien Héry could feature having returned from international duty with Madagascar on Thursday night.
Finn Harps: Mark Timlin misses out through injury. Captain David Webster is suspended while Dan Hawkins, Johnny Dunleavy, Jordan Mustoe and Ryan Rainey are doubts.Tags: