Premier Division: Sligo Rovers -v- Cork CitySun, Jul 22 2012
League leaders Sligo Rovers have the chance to open up a six point gap atop of the Premier Division. With Drogheda United’s win last night, the Bit O’Red are only three points clear but this will be their game in hand.
Rovers came away from the Europa League second qualifying round on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline as Spartak Trnava proved too much for the Bit O’Red. However, Gavin Peers 69th minute strike keeps the tie somewhat alive, but it will take a massive effort from Sligo to overturn the deficit.
You can bet that once the final whistle went and all post match business has been conducted that Ian Baraclough would immediately turn his attention to this game.
Sligo have yet to taste defeat at home in the league, from their eight games in the Showgrounds they have won five and drawn three. Sligo manager Baraclough will be without the services of Iarfhlaith Davoren who is suspended for the clash while Alan Keane is out with a calf injury. The Bit O’Red will be boosted by the return of Mark Quigley who was absent on Wednesday for personal reasons. The only doubt remains with Ross Gaynor who picked up a knock during the week, but he is expected to be fit for the game.
Speaking ahead of the game, Baraclough said "It is important that we refocus after the European game and certainly the results on Friday will help that. We have to push on and Cork are in form. They're a tough nut to crack and probably in a false position given the run they are on. It might be a cliche but our most important game is the next one and we'll be treating this as our priority."
The Leesiders aren’t having the season that maybe they were expecting, they have yet to break the 20 point barrier this season with only half of the league campaign remaining.
Baraclough said that Cork are a tough nut to crack, but when you look at their record this season, they have only won twice away from home which isn’t quite intimidating but when you see that they are unbeaten in eight games since a 1-0 defeat in the Munster Senior Cup to Limerick back in May 7th then there is some real food for thought.
Cork will also have new signing Keigan Parker available and he could be the replacement they need for Tadhg Purcell.
Speaking ahead of the game, Cork City manager Tommy Dunne told CorkCityFC.net that it will be a difficult game: “It will be a tough game for us. They are the in-form side, and they are also the league leaders, so if we can get something out of it, it would be a good result.”
“That said, I think we are dangerous team ourselves and like any team in this league we are capable of getting a result anywhere. The Showgrounds is always a tough place to go, but the surface is good and it’s a place you can play good football, so we will be positive and try to get the best result we can.”
On the injury front, Dunne has a major doubt over the fitness of Daryl Horgan who has a hamstring injury, while he also has doubts over Davin O’Neill (groin), Gearóid Morrissey (ankle), Kalen Spillane (Achilles) and Dan Murray (groin).
Referee: Rob Rogers
Cork are unbeaten in eight games while Sligo are five domestic games unbeaten.
Sligo beat Cork 1-0 in their only meeting this season
Sligo 4/7, Draw 11/4, Cork City 9/2
With Sligo having played earlier in the week I expect fatigue to be a factor but I can’t see Cork beating them so I am going to jump on the fence and say 1-1 draw
Sligo Injury News: Alan Keane, Ross Gaynor (doubt)
Sligo Suspension News: Iarfhlaith Davoren
Cork Injury News: All doubts - Daryl Horgan, Davin O’Neill, Gearóid Morrissey, Kalen Spillane and Dan Murray
Cork Suspension News: None
P.J. generally covers Drogheda games at HD Park and can generally be found at any Dublin ground when of a loose end on a Friday night.