Cork City welcome Bohemians to Turner’s Cross on Friday night in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division hoping they can end a run of six games without a win. (kick-off 8pm)
Cork City have picked up six points in their last seven league games and the Rebel Army now loiter in seventh place in the Premier Division, 16 points behind Friday’s opponents Bohemians.
John Cotter’s side suffered a 4-1 defeat to Derry City last Friday before picking up a point in a scoreless daw away to Finn Harps. City head coach Cotter knows that the game against Bohemians will require his side to be at their best if they are to come away with any points from the encounter.
“We know Bohs will be a tough game, it always is. We beat them here 2-0 and we beat them up there 1-0, but those games count for nothing. We know we’re going to have to go out Friday and produce every bit of that work-rate that we produced last night [against Finn Harps],” Cotter told corkcityfc.ie.
“Hopefully the couple of attacking players we have coming in - Dáire, Joel and Darragh Crowley will help us.”
The scoreless draw against Harps saw Cork City with only five players on the bench and Cotter praised his players for the ‘unbelievable shift’ they put in.
“On Monday night we were literally down to barebones, but the boys put in an unbelievable shift and that’s all that we can ask of them. I’ve no doubt that if we keep doing that, we will get the wins we’re looking for.”
In injury news, Shane Griffin, Pierce Phillips, Cian Murphy and Cian Bargary are all definitely ruled out. There is a chance Karl Sheppard will be available for selection.
City will be boosted by the return of Dáire O’Connor having served a one game suspension after being sent off against Derry City, while Joel Coustrain will be available to make his first appearance in a Cork City shirt.
After suffering four defeats and a draw, Bohemians are now unbeaten in their last five games, four of which were wins. Like Cork City, Bohemians recorded a scoreless draw on Monday.
The televised game was not the most entertaining but Keith Long’s side kept their nearest rivals, Derry City, from gaining any ground on their third-place perch.
After the Derry game, manager Keith Long was vocal about the tough schedule that has seen his squad depth tested to its limits as injuries mount for the Gypsies.
"The players who have come in at various stages this season have all played a huge part and that has been the case again,” Long told bohemiansfc.ie.
"We can be pleased with how we've coped so far given that our resources have been stretched and our squad tested.
"We've had a few set-backs along the way with the recovery time of some of those players out, the likes of Rob Cornwall and Danny Grant. The comeback from those injuries can tedious and slow.
"That's been frustrating. You want to have your best players available and to have options. But those who have come in have done well for us and we hope that will continue down in Cork."
Long knows Turner’s Cross will be a tough place to go and whilst Cork City have recorded two wins against Bohemians in the league this season, Bohs go into the game the form side.
"We have a lot of injuries and it will be a tough game but it's 11 v 11. They've had the better of it against us in the league but this year but we've taken 10 points from our last 12 so we're going down in form despite the players we've had missing."
In injury news, Bohemians have a sizable list of absentees. Michael Barker (concussion), Aaron Barry (hamstring/ineligible), Rob Cornwall (achilles), Danny Grant (hamstring), Kevin Devaney (concussion), Dinny Corcoran (ankle) and Cristian Magerusan (cruciate) are all out.
Keith Buckley (shoulder) and Danny Mandroiu (calf), who were late withdrawals ahead of Monday's game, remain doubtful.
Referee: Ray Matthews
Cork City and Bohemians have met 113 times in the League of Ireland. They have drawn 32 times – 11 scoreless, 19 1-1’s and 2 2-2’s. Cork City have won 45 times with Bohemians winning 36 times.
Bohemians largest home win over Cork City was a 5-1 victory in 1988. Cork City recorded their biggest home win over Bohs in 2015 – a 4-0 victory. The Bohemians win was the only time one of these sides has scored five against the other.
Bohemians have won 12 games out of 23 so far this season, that is double Cork City’s number of wins over the same games played.
Cork City 21/10; Draw 21/10; Bohemians 7/5
Injured: Shane Griffin, Pierce Phillips, Cian Murphy, Cian Bargary
Doubtful: Karl Sheppard
Injured: Michael Barker (concussion), Aaron Barry (hamstring/ineligible), Rob Cornwall (achilles), Danny Grant (hamstring), Kevin Devaney (concussion), Dinny Corcoran (ankle) and Cristian Magerusan (cruciate)
Doubtful: Keith Buckley (shoulder) and Danny Mandroiu (calf)