League Preview: Cork City -v- Shamrock Rovers

Fri, Jul 06 2018

Trevor Clarke celebrates the opening goal when the sides met at the Cross last season. City won the game 4-1. Credit: Michael P Ryan

CORK CITY

Cork City return to league action with the visit of Shamrock Rovers to Turners Cross (kick off 7:45pm).

Following last week’s 2-1 loss at Oriel Park; John Caulfield’s side slipped two points behind the Lilywhites into second place following Sean McLaughlin’s late own goal

Despite the stutters in City’s run, City are unbeaten at the Cross since August 2017 while Shamrock Rovers are five years without a win pushing back to June 2013.

A winning clean streak at home has soothed the Rebels in 2018, which has seen 23 goals scored and only three conceded.

Taking everything into account, City boss John Caulfield was not phased by the last week’s result and was eager for Friday’s tie,

“In this league, there will be occasions when you drop points,” he told the club's official website.

On previous occasions, when it has happened, we have bounced back and shown how good we are by going on runs, and that is what you need to do.

“If we do that, this league will go right to wire, but if we start dropping points, it won’t. That is why I keep saying that Friday’s game is huge.

“We have to bounce back on Friday night, it is the most important game for us. Rovers are on a good run, but we are at home and we need a big crowd behind us.

“Rovers have got confidence from their good run, they have good players and they are a confident team, so we will need to be at our best to beat them.”

In team news Alan Bennett, Steven Beattie, Damien Delaney, Karl Sheppard, Colm Horgan and Barry McNamee are doubts and will all be assessed prior to kick off.

SHAMROCK ROVERS

Rovers come south on the back of three wins in a row, with the hope of a first win at Turner's Cross since June 2013.

Following wins against Derry and Limerick, Rovers have pushed up to fourth in the table with the golden opportunity for three points this evening bringing Europe closer for the Hoops.

Speaking ahead of the game; Rovers boss Stephen Bradley was excited but cagey heading to Cork this evening,

“We know going down to Cork we’re up against it,” he told the club's official website.

“I think they were unlucky to be beaten last week, they made chances and they’ll want to put that right tomorrow night and get all three points.

“It’s a difficult place to go but I feel that if we play to our levels we’re more than a match for anyone in the league. It’s going to be a tough night but we’re confident in what we are and what we do.

“When we played down at Turner’s Cross the last couple of times we’ve done well, we just need to be more ruthless at both ends”

With this in mind, fan favorite Alan Mannus is poised to start for the Hoops for the first time since returning from St Johnstone.

Sean Boyd is out from injury following last Tuesday’s Leinster Senior Cup loss to Dundalk.

 

MATCH STATS

This will be the third league meeting of the sides of the season with both sides sharing the three points equally.

In March, City enjoyed the win over Rovers following Kieran Sadlier’s penalty while in April Rovers canceled out City’s win with a 3-0 rout in Tallaght Stadium.

At Turners Cross, Rovers haven’t had a lead win since June 2013 when James Chambers and Ronan Finn scored in a 2-1 win against a struggling City, while Shane Duggan gave some consolidation to the hosts.

 

BETTING

Cork City 8/11 Draw 23/10, Shamrock Rovers 7 /2.

PREDICTION

Cork City FC 2-0 Shamrock Rovers.

 

Cork City

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Alan Bennett, Steven Beattie, Damien Delaney, Karl Sheppard, Colm Horgan, Barry McNamee.

Suspended: None.

Shamrock Rovers

Injured: Sean Boyd.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.