Cork City will look to bounce back from the disappointment of Europa League elimination to Progres Niederkorn as they welcome Shamrock Rovers to Turner’s Cross (kick-off 4pm).
John Cotter’s side lost out by the odd goal in five over the two legs after overhauling a 2-0 deficit from the first leg before conceding a late winner.
Goals from Garry Buckley and Conor McCarthy early in each half brought City level on aggregate but Bah’s goal midway through the second half won it for Progres.
City’s attention now reverts to the league, where recent results leave the Rebel Army just six points above the relegation play-off, albeit with three games in hand on Finn Harps.
“It’s a massive game,” Cotter told the club’s official website.
“Games against Rovers are always attractive ties, and they are going well. It is good to have a home game and we are looking forward to getting back on the pitch after last week’s win in Luxembourg.”
“Rovers are a good side; they are where they are for a reason. They have a lot of good players and a lot of options, so we know we need to be disciplined and defend well, but we still need to see where we can hurt them as well.”
“We want to push up the table as far as we can, and we still have an FAI Cup in two weeks’ time as well, so there is still a lot to play for.
“We want to push on and hopefully Sunday can be the start of that. We need to be ready to play at a high intensity and go out to try and take the three points.”
“I thought the boys were brilliant over in Luxembourg, and the support over there was brilliant as well. As gutting as it was to go out, you can take positives out of the performance.
“The lads had a few days off to reflect on it and hopefully bring that into Sunday. We need to play the way we did in that game, taking that form into Sunday and the rest of the season.”
City will be without Cian Bargary and Cian Murphy with injury, while Shane Griffin and Kevin O’Connor are both doubtful, while Buckley and Karl Sheppard are suspended.
Shamrock Rovers will hope to keep the positive vibes going on the back of two big European wins and the 7-0 thumping of UCD last Sunday.
Thursday night saw Stephen Bradley’s men claim the scalp of Cypriot heavyweights Apollon Limassol at Tallaght Stadium in their Europa League first leg.
Fotis Papoulis had given the Cypriots an early lead but goals from Lee Grace and Roberto Lopes saw Rovers pull off a famous win.
The margin could have been even higher had Aaron Greene scored after rounding the keeper, while Grace hit the bar from another super Jack Byrne delivery.
“The players very quickly put the Apollon game to bed,” Bradley told the club’s media team.
“They have been brilliant at that all year, moving on to the next task. You have to enjoy Thursday because they’re special nights and the players did enjoy it but then it’s about refocusing on what will be a difficult game in Cork.
“I don’t think it matters too much where Cork are in the table, Turner’s Cross is a difficult venue to go to. They still have some very good players within that team.
“All we can do is concentrate on what we do well and put in a performance. If you do that, hopefully the result comes.”
Aaron McEneff, Joey O’Brien and Sean Kavanagh are all slight doubts after picking up knocks on Thursday.
Referee: Sean Grant
The sides have met twice so far this season, home and away, with Rovers winning on both occasions.
The first meeting at Turner’s Cross saw Rovers win 3-1 thanks to a brace from Aaron McEneff and one from Sean Kavanagh.
The return game in Tallaght in May saw Rovers run out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Joey O’Brien and Roberto Lopes.
Cork City 9/2; Draw 12/5; Shamrock Rovers 4/7.
Cork City 0 – 1 Shamrock Rovers
Injured: Cian Bargary, Cian Murphy.
Doubtful: Shane Griffin, Kevin O’Connor.
Suspended: Garry Buckley, Karl Sheppard.
Doubtful: Aaron McEneff, Joey O’Brien, Sean Kavanagh.