With only four games left to play and four points separating the sides, Cork City and Dundalk are back in league action tonight as the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division race enters the final fortnight of a fascinating season.
City bounced back from last week’s defeat to Dundalk with a 2-0 victory over Finn Harps on Friday night and another three points is imperative tonight against St Pat’s at Richmond Park (7.45pm) if they are to maintain their slim hopes of catching Stephen Kenny’s side.
John Caulfield’s charges turned in a magnificent second half display earlier this month at the same venue as they qualified for the FAI Cup final and the City boss will be looking for more of the same as they enter into back-to-back games with St Pat’s.
“It was nice to get back to winning ways on Friday night, in difficult conditions,” said Caulfield. “Pat’s are probably in a situation where the pressure is now off them, but they still have a good squad and we know all about their top players. I think it will be a different type of game to the cup game. The fact that they can’t qualify for Europe takes the pressure off them, so they can go out and play and have a go. While Dundalk are in the driving seat, it would be wrong of us not to push it right to the end. There are 12 points to play for, and we know that we need to keep the pressure up and try to force it to the last week of the season.”
Dundalk look to have the easier task tonight as they travel to City Calling Stadium (8pm), where they will be expected to defeat Longford Town and finally condemn Alan Mathews’ side to First Division football next season.
With Thursday night’s massive Europa League game against Zenit at Tallaght looming, Kenny may be tempted to rest a few players.
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