Limerick search for first back to back wins of the season against Derry City

Limerick FC welcome Derry City to the Markets Field on Monday night in the Airtricity League Premier Division (7.45).

Limerick have gained four points from a possible six in the past week and will be looking for back to back victories for the first time this season. Derry have been in fantastic form as of late and are unbeaten in eight league games.

Limerick secured a vital 0-1 victory against Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night to open up a nine point gap on their opponents. Captain Shane Duggan scored the decisive goal in the second half. The Shannonsiders had a few nervy moments as Kevin Lynch hit the crossbar on two occasions while captain Gary McCabe missed a first half penalty for Bray.

Limerick striker Danny Morrissey was a threat all evening for Limerick and had two headed opportunities and a shot from distance in his quest for a third goal of the season. The Super Blues right-back Shaun Kelly was replaced at half-time as he picked up a knee injury in training which was aggravated during the game. He is a major doubt for the game while there are also doubts over Daniel Kearns and Conor Ellis who didn’t feature on Friday night. Cian Coleman and Billy Dennehy are suspended.

In the event of the absence of Kelly, it is likely that Killian Cantwell will deputise as he did in the second half on Friday. Darren Dennehy may return to partner Tony Whitehead although Killian Brouder has been solid in his recent appearances for the Super Blues and Barrett may opt to keep faith with the youngster. Shane Tracy returned to left-back on Friday before being replaced. With Billy Dennehy’s suspension ruling him out, Tracy will possibly retain his place at left-back.

Conor Clifford and Eoin Wearen were the midfield partnership of choice on Friday and will feature again on Monday especially with the absence of Cian Coleman. Captain Shane Duggan will be on a high after his first goal of the season. The captain was instrumental in Friday night’s victory.

Will Fitzgerald won his individual battle with Dan McKenna and put in a strong display on the wing. He drew numerous fouls from the Bray man due to his positive running. Danny Morrissey was a big danger for Limerick and will be hoping to retain his place despite pressure from the returning Mark O’Sullivan. However, with the injury problems that the ex-Cork man has endured, Barrett may opt to give the striker a rest with such a quick turnaround.

As it stands, Limerick are now level on points with Bohemians in seventh place and leapfrogged Sligo Rovers to escape the relegation zone for the first time in weeks.

Kenny Shiels side enter the game following a 0-0 home draw with Shamrock Rovers on Friday at the Brandywell. Following an inconsistent start, the Candystripes have won six of their last eight and also gained a credible draw against Dundalk at Oriel Park, becoming the first side to breach the Lilywhites defence on two occasions this season.

Limerick’s central defenders will have to fare better against the physical Rory Patterson on Monday following a poor showing in the Brandywell in March. Killian Cantwell has a massive challenge ahead to keep Ronan Curtis quiet from his usual left wing role.

Meetings so far: Derry thrashed Limerick FC 5-0 in March on the night of the opening of the re-developed Brandywell Stadium. A Ronan Hale hatrick along with goals from Ronan Curtis and Aaron McEneff provided the victory for the home side.

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Adrian Finnin

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