Waterford Utd. - Finn Harps

After finished fourth in the previous season, club’s management decided to improve the squad with new signings. New manager Stephen Henderson brought some players from Cobh with him, defender Kevin Murray, striker Graham Cummins and midfielder John Kearney, while 35 years old goalie Michael Devine came from Cork City. They also have a new sponsorship deal with mobile communications network which should allow players to focus only on pitch. After half league games played, Waterford hold the fourth place, with a point less from the second Sporting Fingal and third UCD Dublin, but also a game less. With three points tonight, Blues would skip those two. Through the season, Waterford play in waves. In one moment, they had seven wins in a row, then two defeats and now they’re in run of three consecutive wins. Don’t have injury worries, the most important thing for them is attacking duo Kiely and mentioned Cummins (who scored 22 goals from team’s 30) will appear again.

After spent just a year at the Premier Division, Harps were relegated at the end of previous season. With the drastic budgetary cuts and permanent financial worries, middle of the table is the most that club can achieve this season. They’re on nearly same distance far from relegation zone and from play-off. However, players come into this game in a good mood. In last two league games, lads put more than solid display and take four points in clashes against third (UCD Dublin, 1-1 away) and second team in league (Sporting Fingal, 3-2 home). At tuesday, Harps defeated English Ipswich 2-1 and although the result wasn't a major issue for them, it kept the momentum going after Saturday's result. Marc Brolly is available again after served his suspension. New signing Shane Sharkey, who made his debut against Ipswich, is expected to start in defence line, instead departed Marc Mukendi. Conor Gethins (striker) and Johnny Havlin (midfielder) are again missing through injury while Oisin McMenamin and Mark Forker are still with the Irish team at the World University Games in Belgrade.

It is obvious home side has the advantage in this encounter. But, Harps’ two previous performances call on caution about the stake. I think we’ll watch attacking Waterford from the first whistle and expect from them to do most of the job in the first half.


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