Cork City host Shamrock Rovers for the final time this season at Turner’s Cross. The visitors are currently unbeaten under new manager Pat Fenlon, while the hosts haven’t won in four games since their 1-0 win at The Brandywell.
Cork are desperately trying to close the gap to runaway leaders Dundalk who are quietly increasing their lead at the top and nothing other than a win here will do for John Caulfield’s men.
The Rebels have won both league ties between the sides so far without even conceding a goal. However, Rovers took the spoils in the most recent EA Sports Cup quarter final, winning 2-0.
In terms of team news, Michael McSweeney is out for Cork, having picked up a knock in the recent FAI Cup match against Bohemians. Former Hoop Billy Dennehy, is also a doubt as he is suffering from a hamstring strain, as is Michael Rafter who is struggling with an ankle problem. Rob Lehane still isn’t match fit, while full back Brian Lenihan has departed for Hull City.
City boss Caulfield acknowledges that Cork are in poor form and is hoping that bringing the players back to basics for this crucial match will help spur the home side on to all three points.
“When you are on a tricky run and the confidence of the team is maybe down a bit, it is my job to build it up and hopefully the supporters can get behind us and give us a lift. As a group we have to pull together and really try to dig out a result.
“We concede nothing, and in our meetings we have said we have to get back to our true values of working hard, being honest and giving our supporters everything.”
Rovers have near a full strength squad as only Ryan Brennan and utility defender David O’Connor remain out for Fenlon’s side. Speaking before the game Fenlon said the following;
“It’s never been an easy place to go and that is certainly the case at the moment. John has done a great job down there and they are second in the league for good reason.
“They will be thinking that they have to keep pushing on and can’t afford to drop points, while we’re are looking to closer and closer to those ahead of us. So it is a big night for all involved and for the league in general.”
Cork City: Michael McSweeney (knock), Billy Dennehy (hamstring), Rob Lehane (fitness) & Michael Rafter (ankle)
Shamrock Rovers: Ryan Brennan, David O’Connor
Cork 8/5 Draw 11/5 Shamrock Rovers 13/8
Referee: Paul Tuite
Venue: Turner’s Cross, Kick off 19:45
Featured Image By Hugh Mansfield.AC+79 3888 at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons.