HomeGAADerry v Donegal – Preview, Startings Teams, Betting & TV details

Derry v Donegal – Preview, Startings Teams, Betting & TV details

Derry v Donegal Match Preview: Ulster Championship Quarter-Final

Saturday 20 April

Ulster Football quarter-final
Derry v Donegal, Celtic Park, 6.15pm –

GAA TV Coverage – RTE & BBC

Live scores for Derry v Donegal 

The Ulster Championship quarter-final between Derry and Donegal promises to be a captivating encounter as these two teams renew their rivalry for the third successive year. Derry have won the last two championship meetings, including a memorable victory over Donegal in last year’s All-Ireland ’round robin’ competition. However, Donegal will be seeking redemption and aiming to reverse their fortunes against the reigning champions.

Pre-Match Build-Up

Mickey Harte’s Perspective

Derry manager Mickey Harte acknowledges the pressure on his side as they aim to defend their Ulster title. After clinching the Division One title, Derry is aiming for a hat-trick of Ulster titles, but Harte is wary of the challenge posed by Donegal under the management of Jim McGuinness. Harte recognizes McGuinness’s managerial prowess and the quality of players at Donegal’s disposal, making them a formidable opponent.

Harte shared his thoughts on the upcoming clash, emphasizing the significance of the match and the quality of opposition his team will face. “We’ve seen what [Jim McGuinness] has done the last time he was in,” Harte said of McGuinness. “He organizes and motivates people very well. He’s a very astute manager and he has quality players there, players who were successful at underage and have matured into young Gaelic football athletes of the highest standard.”

Regarding the expectations on Derry as defending champions, Harte acknowledged the challenges but expressed confidence in his team’s ability to handle the pressure. “Derry will be favorites because they’re champions of the last two years and that’s something they’ll have to manage to carry and be wary of what’s coming down the track,” he remarked.

Harte also highlighted the blend of experience and youth in the Derry squad, stating, “With Derry’s seasoned campaigners being ably supported by a growing cast of fresh-faced youngsters blooded by Harte such as Cormac Murphy, Diarmuid Baker, and Donncha Gilmore, many feel they have enough ammunition to end a 31-year wait for the county’s second Sam Maguire.”

Derry’s Resurgence

This year marks Mickey Harte’s 34th consecutive season in management, a testament to his enduring passion for the game. After a distinguished tenure with Tyrone, Harte has taken on the challenge of leading Derry, aiming to build on the team’s recent successes. Despite the pressure and expectations, Harte remains focused on his commitment to improving the team’s performance and striving for success.

Recent Form


Derry heads into the championship as the Allianz League Division 1 winners, having secured seven victories out of eight games. Their only defeat came against Dublin in the group series, a setback they avenged in the final by defeating Dessie Farrell’s men on penalties after extra time. Derry’s impressive form in the league positions them as strong contenders in the Ulster Championship.


Donegal claimed the Division 2 title this year, winning seven games and drawing one out of eight. Despite their defeat to Derry in last year’s championship, Donegal remains a formidable force in Ulster football. With a talented squad and a hunger for success, Donegal will be determined to make their mark in this year’s championship campaign.

Head-to-Head Record

Derry and Donegal have a recent history of closely contested matches:

– **2023:** Derry 3-14 Donegal 1-15 (All-Ireland ‘round robin’)
– **2022:** Derry 1-16 Donegal 1-14 aet (Ulster final)
– **2021:** Donegal 0-16 Derry 0-15 (Ulster quarter-final)
– **2018:** Donegal 2-16 Derry 0-16 (Ulster quarter-final)
– **2015:** Donegal 1-9 Derry 0-10 (Ulster semi-final)

Derry’s recent dominance in championship meetings adds intrigue to this clash, but Donegal will be eager to turn the tide and secure victory against their rivals.

Match Outlook

The Derry v Donegal quarter-final promises to be a thrilling encounter, with both teams hungry for success. Derry’s potent attacking play and defensive solidity will be put to the test against Donegal’s resilience and tactical acumen. Expect a fiercely contested battle with high stakes, as the winners will advance to face Tyrone or Cavan in the Ulster semi-final.

As two of Ulster’s footballing powerhouses collide, fans can anticipate an enthralling spectacle filled with drama and excitement. The outcome of this match will be determined by the team that can best execute their game plan and handle the pressure of knockout football. Don’t miss out on what promises to be a memorable clash between Derry and Donegal.

Derry v Donegal - Preview and team news
Derry v Donegal – Preview and team news


Derry are very strong favourites and they have been playing at a different level this season. Expect Derry to win by 5/6 points.

Starting teams for Derry v Donegal 

Teams will be announced at 12pm Friday

LiveScores Now Available at IrishScores.com



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