Cork City return to league action after the mid-season break on Friday, as they travel to Dublin to face Shamrock Rovers.
City go into the game having recorded eight consecutive league wins, rounding off the first part of the season with a win over Dundalk at Turner’s Cross that sees them sit in second place in the table, just a point off the leaders. Rovers went into the break on the back of a 2-0 win away to St. Pat’s, a result that leaves them fourth in the table, level on points with third-placed Derry City.
The sides met at Turner’s Cross earlier this season, with City scoring twice early on to seal a 2-0 win, thanks to goals from Steven Beattie and Karl Sheppard. In total, the sides have met eighty-eight times in the league, with City winning thirty-two to Rovers’ twenty-seven, while they have drawn on a further twenty-nine occasions.
Speaking at the club’s weekly press conference ahead of the game, City boss John Caulfield said: “After being away for a couple of weeks, it is a good game to have. If it was not such a big game, there might be a danger of guys taking their eyes off the ball, with the European draw and everything, so I think it is an ideal game for us.”
“They are probably looking at it from the point of view that, if they win, they are back within five points of us, which puts them back in with an outside chance of the league. They have integrated a lot of new players and a lot of younger players into their team. Going to Tallaght is never easy, you have to perform. We are looking forward to it and we need to be on our game.”
John Kavanagh is back in training, but is unlikely to feature for another couple of weeks, while John Dunleavy has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Michael McSweeney is rated as a major doubt, while there is also a question mark over Karl Sheppard’s availability.
Injury News: John Kavanagh, John Dunleavy, Karl Sheppard, Michael McSweeney
Last Game: Cork City 1-0 Dundalk
Last Meeting: Cork City 2-0 Shamrock Rovers
Last Meeting at Tallaght: Shamrock Rovers 3-0 Cork City
League Form (most recent game first): W W W W W W W W D D
Stats with thanks to Brian Fitzgerald.