The champions return to league action on Sunday evening with a visit from St. Patrick’s Athletic to Turners Cross (kick off 7:00pm).
It has been a difficult fortnight for John Caulfield and his team; City crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday following a 3-0 loss to Rosenborg in Trondheim, a result which sealed a forgettable campaign for the Rebel Army after previously bowing out to Legia Warsaw in the Champions League qualifiers.
Tonight the Leesiders can concentrate on more local matters and City come into the game five games unbeaten domestically.
Taking everything into account, Caulfield stressed it is all about the title from here on in with his side following a difficult spell at the club.
“We know how important a game this is,” said Caulfield speaking to his club’s website. “We were back in on Friday and again today, and we know we need to be on top form against Pat’s.
“It is our home game and it is all about making sure that we keep the pressure on and go back to the top of the table.
“We are at the top, it is our league title and we want to retain it. I expect the game will be very tough. We will give a top performance and we need to do that.”
With this in mind, Caulfield wasn’t underestimating challenge his team faces when come up against a resurgent Pats side.
“Pat’s have some very good, established players who have been around the league a while, guys who have won medals. They are a very dangerous team, they play good football; nothing but a top performance by us will do.”
ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
The Saints travel to Turner’s Cross aiming for their first league win at the venue since May 2013.
After last week’s 5-0 win over Inchicore Athletic in the FAI Cup, a resurgent St. Pats come to Cok also on the back of beating Bray 3-0 as well as missing our narrowly to Derry 2-1 at the Brandywell.
Bearing this in mind, Pats boss Liam Buckley was optimistic for his side’s travels to Cork following a week’s rest for his squad and a positive display last week.
“We had a good win last week over Inchicore Athletic and it is good to see the team back amongst the goals in the last two games,” said Buckley.
“We have had a good build-up to this game as the players have had every opportunity to recharge the batteries and prepare for Cork with the extra few days."
St. Pats will be without Thomas Byrne tonight through suspension while Christy Fagan remains out with injury. Michael Barker is back in contention following an ankle injury, while former City turned Saint Achille Campion could be poised to make his debut for St. Pats this evening.
Referee: Robert Hennessy.
St. Pats last league win in Turners Cross was in May 2013 with a title charging Saints running out 2-0 away from home.
Liam Buckley team did dismiss Cork City from the EA Sports cup since then but that was only through a 5-3 penalty shoot out win in the EA Sports Cup against City in May 2015, following a 1-1 draw in normal time.
City boast a 100% record against the Saints for the 2018 season through two wins.
Cork City 2/5; Draw 7/2; St. Pats 13/2.
Cork City 2-0 St Patrick’s Athletic.
Injured: Colm Horgan.
Doubtful: Graham Cummins.
St. Patrick’s Atheltic:
Injured: Christy Fagan.
Suspended: Thomas Byrne.
Our SSE Airtricity League trophy and FAI Cup will be on display inside Turner's Cross this evening. Be sure to get your picture with our trophies, share them online and include #CCFC84.— Cork City FC (@CorkCityFC) August 19, 2018
Tickets for tonight's game | https://t.co/gPL64ncEfN #CCFC84 pic.twitter.com/5rZd8VQk3j