City have lost three on the bounce after a fantastic start to the season.
Derry are sweating over the fitness of Cameron Dummigan, who hobbled off against Sligo on Monday.
A disappointing 2-1 defeat to Sligo saw Derry City pass up the chance to make up ground on league leaders Shamrock Rovers, while a 1-0 defeat for Harps against Dundalk leaves them nine points from relegation safety.
Manager Ruaidhri Higgins said the game against Sligo was the “worst performance” of the season so far from The Candystripes.
But his assistant manager Alan Reynolds sees plenty of reason for optimism going into this evening’s mouth-waterin encounter at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium (kick off 7.45 pm).
“We’re really looking forward to it; you could sense a real buzz and an edge about training this morning,” he said.
“Like ourselves they’ve had a few tricky results recently and they’ll be keen to put that right. At the end of the days it’s a derby and you’d imagine the shackles will be off.
“The game at Finn Park was very tight and I expect they’ll be well organised coming here but we want to get back on the winning trail so it’s up to us to try to find a way.
“It’ll be another big, noisy crowd and I have no doubt our supporters will get right behind the team. These are the games where they can make a real difference.”
Harps boss Ollie Horgan was pleased with aspects of his side’s performance against the Lilywhites but was left to bemoan their wastefulness in front of goal.
He said: “I thought we played quite well on Monday night, but if you don’t take your chances in this division you will struggle to put points on the board and that ended up being the case come full time.
“But full credit to the lads who kept at it until the end and probably deserved something from the game.”
“We have to keep our heads up, keep battling and keep things tight at the back to give ourselves a chance in what will be a very very difficult game.
“They say in derby games form doesn’t necessarily come into the equation so hopefully that bit of luck that has maybe evaded us in recent weeks goes our way and we can get a result.”
Harps will be without David Webster, who misses out through injury, while Elie-Gael N’Zeyi, Ryan Connolly and Barry McNamee are doubts.Tags: