Cork City welcome Dublin opposition to Turner’s Cross for the second week in succession as they begin the final round of fixtures against St Patrick’s Athletic (kick-off 8pm – live on Eir Sport).
The Rebel Army earned a much-needed point last week as they held Shamrock Rovers to a 1-1 draw at the Cross.
Daire O’Connor had put the Leesiders in front in the first half but Aaron McEneff levelled after the break to ensure the points were shared.
That result wasn’t enough to overhaul seventh-placed Waterford but leaves John Cotter’s side seven points clear of Finn Harps in the relegation play-off spot.
“They got late goals in the game down here and the last game in Richmond Park,” head coach Cotter said at his weekly pre-match press conference.
“It would be great to get a win, but we know we have to put in a performance like we did last Sunday and the previous week.
“We wouldn’t be saying that we owe them one, but we just need to go and put in a performance and get the three points and try to get a bit of momentum.”
“The supporters last Sunday were brilliant. They got right behind the team and even at the final whistle, the ovation that the players got going off was well deserved.
“The support here has been brilliant; I always say, and I’ll say it again, that they should never underestimate the role that they play in games.
Cian Murphy and Cian Bargary are both injured but Karl Sheppard and Garry Buckley return from suspension, while new signing Eoghan Stokes is also available.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
St Patrick’s Athletic missed out on a chance to close the gap on fourth-placed Derry City when they fell to a narrow defeat to champions Dundalk last week.
John Mountney’s second-half goal was enough for the Lilywhites to take the points home from Richmond Park.
Derry’s game-in-hand win over Waterford on Monday moved the Candystripes six points ahead of the Saints with nine games to play.
"We will travel to Cork with the aim of coming back with a result,” manager Harry Kenny told the club’s website.
“It is always tough down in Turner's Cross and there's the added element of the game being on live television too, but that is something that we are really looking forward to.
“The new players we have brought in have brought in an added freshness so we will be looking to try get a result.
“We have picked up three results against Cork already this season and hopefully we can get a fourth on Friday night."
Conor Clifford is a doubt and Mikey Drennan misses out with suspension, which could mean a start for new signings Glen McAuley or Ronan Hale, who have both attained international clearance.
The Saints have had the slight upper hand is the three meetings between the two teams so far this season.
Mikey Drennan’s penalty earned the home side a win on the opening day at Richmond Park, while the two subsequent games were drawn.
Late goals from Dean Clarke and Simon Madden denied the Rebel Army wins at Turner’s Cross and Richmond Park respectively.
These are two of the three lowest-scoring sides in the league, with City managing just 20 goals to the Saints' 21.
Cork City 13/10; Draw 15/8; St Patrick’s Athletic 21/10.
Cork City 0 – 1 St Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Cian Bargary, Cian Murphy.
St Patrick’s Athletic
Doubtful: Conor Clifford.
Suspended: Mikey Drennan.