Sligo title bid faces tough test in Cork

Sligo Rovers can’t actually win the title in Cork tonight but a victory or, at least, the avoidance of defeat, will keep them on course to finish the season as Airtricity League Premier Division champions.

A large travelling crowd will swell the attendance at Turner’s Cross and the Setanta cameras will also be there to provide live coverage of the 8pm game.

“It is not an easy run-in but this is what you face in trying to get over the line,” says Sligo manager Ian Baraclough. “Turner’s Cross has a lot of history and there will be a good atmosphere. With the added expectation on us and the television cameras present, I think Cork will try to put on a good performance for their fans and try to finish as high as they can this year.”

Wins for St Patrick’s Athletic and Drogheda United mean Sligo still have work to do to claim their first title since 1977.

“The lead is now five and six points [over Pats and Drogheda, respectively] and results earlier in the week confirms that the league is far from being over,” said Baraclough.

Alan Keane (metatarsal), Danny North (cruciate ligament) and Iarfhlaith Davoren (heel) are ruled out while, for Cork, Gearoid Morrissey is suspended and flu-victim Davin O’ Neill is a doubt, while Ian Turner returns from suspension.

“Sligo deserve to be top of the table as they have performed really well this year,” said City boss Tommy Dunne. “I know they have their priorities but we also have ours, namely trying to finish as high up the table as we can and hopefully claim a Setanta Cup place. With the importance of the match for both sides, it has the makings of a good game.”

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