The post-McClean era begins for Derry City
The Candystripes’ star winger moved to Sunderland this week for £350,000 after distinguishing himself for Stephen Kenny’s side. While Derry may have received a healthy fee for the 22-year-old, they now face the season’s run-in without their best player.
St Patrick’s Athletic are the visitors to the Brandywell on Friday night and the home side know that a draw could see them move above Sligo Rovers to the top of the league.
This has been a woeful time for Pat’s, their off field issues culminating in a dreadful showing against UCD last weekend.
Gary Rogers and Shane McFaul were sent off in that game and miss the Derry clash, Anto Murphy is injured and Stephen Bradley is rated doubtful.
Derry will be missing the injured Gareth McGlynn.
Can Galway lift the depression?
These have been shocking times for Galway United. The club has suffered 18 defeats in a row while its board have issued a vote of no confidence in manager Sean Connor. Connor, however, is unwilling to step aside and Galway can’t afford to sack a man who is a year and a half through a three-year deal.
The rest of Galway’s injury-ravaged campaign will centre on a relegation play-off in November. Johnny Keane and Sean Kelly are still out for the game against Bray, Bobby Ryan is a doubt, though Yob Son could come back from suspension.
Bray’s season has been hit and miss, with mid-table obscurity and building for next season their main objective. Pat Devlin’s side currently lie seventh in the league.
Rovers could go top
Shamrock Rovers take on UCD at Tallaght Stadium, knowing that a win could take them top of the league with a Europa League play-off against Partizan Belgrade also to look forward to.
The current champions have been in fine domestic form despite their European exploits, and are bolstered by the return of Karl Sheppard from injury.
However, defender Ken Oman, Stephen O’Donnell and Chris Turner are all out.
Shamrock manager O’Neill believes UCD will be fearless because of their tag as huge outsiders, telling RTE: “We want to continue getting wins and gathering points in the league.
“Europe comes back around for us again, but we want to have ourselves in the position that if we win our game in hand, we’re three clear at the top. So we need to win tonight to do that.
“We never expect an easy game from UCD. While we won well in the last game in Belfield, they did have a man sent off. They’ll come to Tallaght with nothing to lose, and we need to be aware of that going into the game.”
The Students, meanwhile, will be looking to build on last week’s draw with St Pat’s in Inchicore.
Bohs to take on Premier League side
Fresh from their trip to face Sligo Rovers on Saturday, Bohemians will take on David Moyes’ Everton at Dalymount Park on Monday evening. Everton’s Premier League opener against Tottenham in London fell foul of the hooded masses near White Hart Lane, so the Toffees come to Dublin to warm up for their clash against QPR next weekend.