Derry City could yet make a few additions to their 2023 squad with the League of Ireland transfer window remaining open and potential new loan signings also a possibility in the coming days.
Ruaidhri Higgins has done some shrewd business in the market during the close season and his strongest team will look slightly different from last year's team which finished second and won the FAI Cup.
With that in mind we've put together the likely starting XI, based on a 4-3-3 formation, that fans could see lining out for the President's Cup at Brandywell on Friday night as both Derry and Shamrock Rovers look to put down an early marker and strike a psychological blow at the first possible opportunity.
Have a look at our starting line-up and let us know your thoughts on Derry's strongest line-up.
1. Brian Maher (Goalkeeper)
There can be little argument over who wears the No.1 shirt after Maher's outstanding debut season at Brandywell. Despite the signing of Tadhg Ryan to add some much needed competition in the goalkeeping department, the Dubliner is hugely important in terms of the way Derry play and it would come as a major surprise should he be left out for this one. Photo: George Sweeney
2. Ronan Boyce (right-back)
Ramelton man Boyce will be anxious to establish himself as a permanent fixture at the right-back position this season. With Cameron Dummigan carrying a knock going into the start of the season, there's not too much competition in this area although youngster Conor Barr has shown impressive signs in preseason. As a natural full-back Boyce and with a proven track record in the first team, he's likely to start against Rovers should Derry opt for four at the back. Photo: George Sweeney
3. Mark Connolly (centre-half)
The experienced centre half made a significant impact on Derry both on and off the pitch when arriving during last season's summer window and he will once again prove to be a major influence on this team if City are to challenge for honours once again. The only question mark is who will play alongside him this campaign. Photo: George Sweeney
4. Cameron McJannet (centre half)
The former Stoke City defender is no doubt still on a high after his FAI Cup Final heroics and it's difficult to see a Derry team without him given his stellar performances throughout last season. He played regularly as a left back or on the left of a back three last term but with the arrival of Ben Doherty and Ciaran Coll another option for the left back position this year, surely McJannet will be deployed as a left-sided centre half. Photo: Kevin Moore