“St Pat’s have been the most consistent side in the league over the last two years. They are certainly the best side we have played this season” said Dunne. That was when Pat’s triumphed 2-0 at Turner’s Cross back in May. But the Cork boss is not without hope even though again without the injured Kevin Burns, Kevin Murray and Darren Dennehy.
Adam Rundle, John Dunleavy and Colin Healy are also all on the ‘doubtful’ list. Shane Duggan returns after suspension to give Cork hope of climbing into the top half of the table.
“We will try and get a result although we know it is a big ask. But after our 2-2 draw at home to Dundalk last week, I have a feeling we have a big result coming,” added Dunne.
St Pat’s, now seven matches unbeaten in the league, will have Anto Flood, Greg Bolger and Ian Bermingham back after sitting out Tuesday’s 2-1 extra-time defeat by Shamrock Rovers in the EA Sports Cup quarter-final.
Dundalk, just three points behind St Pat’s, start hot favourites when they play host to third from bottom Bray Wanderers at Oriel Park. Tiarnan Mulvenna returns after injury while Andy Boyle and Richie Towell return from suspension. Manager Stephen Kenny will give late fitness tests to John Mountney and Dane Massey.
Bray will be without suspended defender Adam Mitchell, while ruled out by injury are Danny O’Connor and Shane ‘Conor. But Bray boss Pat Devlin is happy to have Kevin O’Connor back from suspension with new signing from Drogheda — Stephen Quigley going straight into the squad.
“Dundalk are having a great season but he have had good results at Oriel in recent years, ” said Devlin.
UCD, after a 1-1 draw with Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght last week, will start slight favourites when they play host to bottom of the table Shelbourne at the Beelfield Bowl (7.45pm).
Both mdfielder Robbie Creevy and defender Mick Leahy face will have late fitness tests while Shelbourne boss John McDonnell must plan without the suspended Graham Gartland and Ian Ryan.
Second from bottom Bohemians will be going for their first back to back league wins of the season when Drogheda United are the visitors to Dalymount Park (7.45pm).
Bohs must plan without three key suspended players — caretaker player-manager Owen Heary, Luke Byrne and Derek Pender while Drogheda boss Mick Cooke will be minus Michael Daly, who serves a one match ban.