The Candystripes have been efficient in taking 10 points out of 12 so far in the league, with assistant manager Alan Reynolds acknowledging that there is plenty more to come from City over the next 32 games.
They welcome the Lilywhites who have bounced back from a slow start to register six points and seven goals over four days.
New signings such as Rayhaan Tulloch on loan from West Brom have found their feet quickly and it allows the visitors to travel north with a feeling they can silence what is likely to a partisan Brandywell crowd.
The bottom four of the Premier Division consists of four teams based in Dublin – two of which meet this evening.
Derry have played just a single league game at home so it will be exciting for their supporters to welcome Dundalk in a match between two form teams.
By a quirk of the fixture list three matches have been on the road and the 2-0 success over Cork City two weeks ago didn’t have too many spills and thrills.
This game could be different.
Ruaidhri Higgins returns to take charge after travelling to Sweden following the death of his brother.
The City boss was full of praise for his players and staff, insisting they had been “a real credit to the club” while he had been dealing with the bereavement.
Derry have dealt with some absentees on the pitch early in the season, something Higgins sees as very encouraging.
“We’ve had a few injuries, that’s no secret, but compared to even last year, we have been able to bring genuine quality into the team.
“They always seem to be tight games with Dundalk but we will be going into the match looking to put on a performance and trying to keep this wee run going.
“It’s only been four games so nobody is getting carried away.
“We don’t want to hide behind anything either though. We want to improve on last season and improving on that means a very real challenge to winning the title.
“We have the group of players here now to do that but we have to stay focused and try to build on a good start.
“Thankfully we have no fresh injuries but it’s unlikely we’ll add anyone to the panel that did so well across the last two matches.”
That means Cameron Dummigan, Cameron McJannet, Michael Duffy and Adam O’Reilly remain out.
Dundalk boss Stephen O’Donnell has pointed to his side’s fine record at the venue as they look to make it nine points in a week.
“We’re really looking forward to it.
“The Brandywell is always a good place to go and play. It’s a really big pitch so it suits good footballers and there’ll be a lot of them on the pitch on Friday.
“Derry are unbeaten in their opening four. They’ll be riding the crest of a wave at the minute but our confidence is also high after the last two results. It’ll be a good sort of measuring stick for where we are at, where our individuals are at and collectively where we’re at.
“There are a lot of links between the clubs and there’s a really good sort of relationship there.
“Myself and Ruaidhri (Higgins) are really big friends and a lot of the lads who are here are friends with some of the players who moved to Derry but that goes out the window once the match starts. You become friends again on Saturday, and hopefully, you have bragging rights.
“We have an amazing record at the Brandywell which I wasn’t really aware of until recent days but, ultimately, it’s not going to count for anything come Friday night.
“You don’t win games on your historic record of the previous 10 years. It’s about what’s happening here and now and what’s in front of us.”
Johannes Yli-Kokko and Daniel Kelly are back in contention for Dundalk after missing the win over Shelbourne on Monday while Alfie Lewis, Robbie McCourt and Robbie Benson are also pushing for a start.
Paul Doyle and Louie Annesley are doubtful while John Mountney (knee) is a long-term absentee.Tags: