League Preview: UCD -v- Cork City

Mon, Apr 15 2019

Graham Cummins of Cork City celebrates after scoring the first goal of the game Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

UCD

The Students will look get back to winning ways at home to Cork City at the UCD Bowl in a rescheduled fixture in the capital on Monday night (kick-off is at 7.45pm).

UCD’s initial home date against the Leesiders was postponed due to international call-ups with both Liam Scales and Neil Farrugia being part of Stephen Kenny’s under-21 squad. 

Collie O’Neill’s outfit fell to a disappointing defeat at home on Friday evening to Derry City as the Candystripes experience told from set-piece scenarios. 

However, UCD will be looking to bounce back in the grand manner on Monday evening as the fixtures begin to pile up for what looks to be a threadbare squad at the UCD Bowl. 

It will be interesting to see what kind of a response the Students can muster up on Monday evening against the 2017 double winners as the exam season rolls in at Belfield. 

In terms of team news for UCD, Conor Davis is likely to miss out again having been ruled out on Friday evening, while long-term absentee Evan Osam won’t feature as he recovers from his serious achilles injury. 

CORK CITY

Hoping to kickstart their season, John Caulfield’s Cork City will be acutely aware that the pressure will surely mount on the Leesiders on Monday evening should they fail to pick up all three points. 

City have flattered to deceive somewhat during the opening stages of the season as they currently lie sixth , 17 points behind table toppers Shamrock Rovers, albeit with two games in hand over the Hoops – one of which is this trip to Belfield. 

“We know it will be a difficult game in UCD, but we are going up there looking for the three points,” John Caulfield told his club’s official media team.  

“UCD are incredibly fit, they like to switch the play and keep the pitch big. That said, there are areas we have looked at where we feel we can exploit them, but we have to take our chances when we get them.

“The middle of the table is quite tight and if we can string a few wins together, you would expect to be back up in the top three or four. 

“The last number of weeks, we have dropped points but there are a lot of games coming up over the next few weeks and we need to get some consistency and some form. 

“When you get a win, it brings the confidence back and the sooner we get a win, the better.”

Karl Sheppard and Alan Bennett may both miss out due to injury along with the confirmed absentees of Cian Murphy, Daire O’Connor and Colm Horgan. 

In a brief respite for the Leesiders, James Tilley returns from suspension and is expected to play some role at the Bowl. 

Referee: Ben Connolly. 

MATCH STATS

UCD have lost their last four league games against Cork City in the Premier Division. The most recent of which was a 4-0 success for City in October 2014. 

UCD’s most recent win over the Leesiders came all the way back in 2013. David McMillan’s brace and a Hugh Douglas insurance goal sealed all three points for the Students on that occasion. 

There has been an average of 2.88 goals scored in the previous nine games in this fixture. The last time a scoreless draw occurred was way back in 2006. 

BETTING

UCD 4/1; Draw 13/5; Cork City 4/6.

PREDICTION

UCD 2-1 Cork City

UCD

Injured: Evan Osam.

Doubtful: Conor Davis.

Suspended: None.

Cork City

Injured: Daire O’Connor, Cian Murphy, Colm Horgan.

Doubtful: Karl Sheppard, Alan Bennett.

Suspended: None.