THE NORTH WEST derby between Sligo Rovers and Finn Harps is always one to look out for but it is perhaps even more eagerly-awaited this week as both sides are riding high in the Premier Division.
Harps are second in the league behind St Patrick’s Athletic on goal difference after winning three games and drawing one from their first four outings.
Sligo dropped down one spot to fourth after Shamrock Rovers defeated Derry City on Tuesday but are only two behind their near neighbours Harps, and are also unbeaten.
They have won two games against Waterford and Longford Town, while they recorded 1-1 draws with both Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers.
There is disappointment that supporters won’t be able to pack into the Showgrounds on Saturday at 6pm for the big game but the Harps faithful will be tuning into their WatchLOI streams to catch the action.
Harps lost 3-1 in Sligo last year – on a night when they had two men sent off – and Ollie Horgan believes the Bit ‘O Red are an even better outfit this year.
He says it will be their toughest test of the season to date, and feels they will have to raise their performance levels if they are to get a result.
“With no crowds there it’s not quite the same but look it’s great to be talking about Sligo Rovers,” said Horgan.
“For too long we weren’t playing in the same division as them so it’s great to be back in the same league as them.
“There is a great rivalry between the clubs but a lot of respect too.
“They are a proper, proper side and I’m not one bit surprised that they got a result against Shamrock Rovers (last week).
“If we play like we did (last Saturday), I don’t think it will be enough. We have to get better and only time will tell if we are good enough to do that.”