Harps welcome back Stephen O’Donnell who missed last week’s 2-1 defeat in Limerick through suspension, but will have to plan without the injured Keith Cowan who will be out of action for a couple of months after picking up a double hairline fracture of the ankle in the game at Jackman Park.
Adam Clarke could get his first start for the club, having come off the bench last week and scoring Harps’ only goal.
“There were many positives to be taken from the Limerick game,” said Harps Director of Football Felix Healy as he reflected on the opening day defeat.
“We functioned really well as a unit and dominated for long spells in the match. Being two down at half time it would have been easy to throw in the towel but we responded exceptionally well.”
Harps will hope to get their first win of the season on Saturday, against a team who they have a decent record against at Finn Park. “This weekend will be, I would imagine, a completely different kind of football game,” said Healy.
“A bigger pitch will suit the type of football we will try to play as opposed to the very tight playing area at Jackman Park. Hopefully we will create a bit more from open play.”
Healy has already said that it is important that his team gets points on the board as early as possible.
So does he see this week as a game that Harps must pick up a victory? “The next game is always the most important but I don’t believe that it’s what some people might suggest ‘is a must win.’ It’s far too early for that. However, as I’ve already stated, the quicker we get points on the board the better.”
In previous games against Mervue at Finn Park, Harps have always scored at least twice. Mervue have only scored in one of their four visits to Ballybofey, and in that May 2010 game they found the net three times – enough to win the game by the odd goal in five.
Injured: Keith Cowan (8 weeks – double hairline fracture ankle).
Form Guide (last six league games)
Finn Harps: L-L-W-L-L-L (3 pts)
Mervue: L-L-L-L-W-L (3 pts)
Recent home games against Mervue United
05/06/2009 – Finn Harps 2-0 Mervue United (First Division)
07/05/2010 – Finn Harps 2-3 Mervue United (First Division)
30/10/2010 – Finn Harps 4-0 Mervue United (First Division)
06/08/2011 – Finn Harps 2-0 Mervue United (First Division)
Finn Harps Goalscorers 2012
Adam Clarke – 1
Finn Harps Results 2012 (Harps goalscorers in brackets)
02/03/2012 – Limerick 2-1 Finn Harps (Clarke)