Cork City face Shelbourne for the first time since last season’s dramatic last day of the season encounter at Tolka Park.
There won’t be pitch invasions or tears of joy or on field trophy presentations, irrespective of the result on Friday night.
This game is still of much importance to both sides however, in particular the visitors to the capital. Despite a number of big name signings during the close season (including former Republic of Ireland international Colin Healy and the return of captain Dan Murray), the Rebel Army have struggled upon their return to the top flight following a two year absence.
Cork lie joint bottom of the Premier Division having mustered just five points from their opening eight games, while Shels are comfortably in mid table on 12 points from eight starts.
There have been signs of hope for the Leesiders however. They were very unlucky not to earn a win over champions Shamrock Rovers at Turners Crosss, with Gary Twigg earning a draw for the visitors some four minutes into injury-time and the Rebels giving league leaders Sligo Rovers a very competitive tussle before unluckily going down 0-1 last time out. City have however, not taken any points away from home so far this season.
City Manager Tommy Dunne told CorkCityFC.net that there are positives his side can take from the fixture against Sligo stating: “It was a kick in the teeth to concede when we did against Sligo, but we can take positives out of the performance. They are a very good side, and we went toe to toe with them for much of the game and probably created more clear cut chances than them on the night. We want to try and get as many points on the board as soon as we can, and we have to aim to pick up a result tomorrow.
“Tolka Park is always a tough place to go, and games between ourselves and Shelbourne there have always been tight affairs over the last couple of years. Although they suffered a defeat last week, they have started the season quite well and they have been more competitive than us up to now. Alan Mathews has put a good squad together there, but we are going up there with the intention of trying to pick up something out of the game, though it will be a tough game for us.”
John Dunleavy is ruled out for the next couple of weeks with a knee ligament injury, while Dunne also has doubts over Gearóid Morrissey (back), Shane O’Connor (foot) and Jamie Murphy (ankle). Stephen Mulcahy, Kevin Murray and Neal Horgan all remain sidelined with knee injuries.
Injury News: Stephen Mulcahy, Kevin Murray, Neal Horgan, Jamie Murphy, John Dunleavy, Shane O’Connor
Last League Game: Cork City 0-1 Sligo Rovers
League Form: L L D L D L W L