St Patrick's face Derry City in the second round of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup when they make the trip to the Brandywell on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
The meeting of the Saints and the Candystripes in the FAI Cup is not a rarity as the sides have faced one another on three occasions in the final of the competition in recent years. Derry claimed victories in both the 2006 and 2012 finals, while the Saints claimed the bragging rights in 2014 after defeating the Candystripes 2-0 in the Aviva Stadium thanks to two goals from Christy Fagan.
Ahead of Friday's cup clash, Liam Buckley will be without Fagan as the striker continues to recover from a knee injury, though Thomas Byrne is available once more having served a three match suspension while Michael Barker is also back in full training after missing out through an ankle injury.
This season, the sides have met three times in the league with Derry claiming two home wins, while the Saints won the corresponding fixture in Richmond Park on a 5-2 scoreline back in May. Pat's manager Liam Buckley is hoping his side can put in a good performance on Friday night and this time leave the Brandywell with a positive result.
"Very little has separated ourselves in the games in Derry we have played this season, and even in the league table, they are only just ahead of us. They had a tough game last week against Waterford and were very unlucky to be beaten, so we are expecting them to be really at it from the off," Buckley told stpatsfc.com.
"From our point of view, our results have picked up in recent weeks and we got a good point last week in Cork, although the three points were there for us as well so we have a bit to work on from that point of view. It is a cup match so both sides will be keen to win it in 90 minutes and get through to the last eight."
For Saintsâ€™ midfielder Conor Clifford, the prospect of facing Derry is one he is relishing, particularly as it gives the side a chance to bounce back from a narrow 2-1 league defeat in the Brandywell at the end of July.
â€œIt is going to be a tough game. Itâ€™s a big pitch up there, nice surface and both teams like to play good football. They are a good side. We went up there a couple of weeks ago in the league and I felt we should have won as we missed a penalty and had other chances. They play good football, but we're confident we can go there and get the result we need. It's also going to be a battle so I can't wait for it. I'm hoping to be involved and help us get the result we need.â€
With all sides in the second round of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup just three games away from the final, Clifford admits that itâ€™s the aim for all the players to go all the way in the cup.
â€œIf you win four or five games, you are into a final so it is a strange one. Hopefully we go there and win. It would be great to get to the Aviva after the club winning the cup a few years ago. And we want to win it again so why not this year,â€ he told stpatsfc.com
â€œIf you win the cup, you get into Europe and that is where the club want to be. As a player, thatâ€™s where I want to be playing as I have never experienced playing in Europe so it would be great to get there through winning the cup.â€
See highlights of the Saints' victory in Round 1 of the 2018 Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup below as Liam Buckley's side ran out 5-0 winners in Richmond Park against neighbours Inchicore Athletic.
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