Wexford Youths should bounce into Turner’s Cross this evening with a newfound spring in their step, on the back of two successive wins.
The promoted side finally got their first Premier Division win under their belts by beating Bray Wanderers 2-0 last weekend and followed that up with a 2-1 victory over Longford Town in the quarter-final of the Leinster Senior Cup.
But Youths boss Shane Keegan knows his side will face a much sterner test when taking on Cork City on their home turf tonight.
“Games don’t get much tougher than Cork at Turner’s Cross but after getting the first win under our belt, confidence is up and we’re really looking forward to the challenge now,” he said. “Obviously we’re big outsiders but we’ve shown already this season that we’re capable of taking on anybody when we’re at our best so if we perform we could really put it up to them.”
On the injury front, Youths will continue to be without Shane Dunne, Peter Higgins, Aidan Keenan, and Johnny Bonner, but Chris Kenny will be back in contention for a starting place having recovered from the injury.
For what will be the first ever top-flight meeting between the two club, Cork City will be anxious to get back to winning ways after dropping points in a scoreless draw away to Sligo Rovers.
But City boss John Caulfield has suggested that the new season has already shown that no one can afford to underestimate Wexford Youths.
“The danger is that, because they are new to the Premier Division, that people assume that they are not a strong side, but I would say that Wexford will cause a lot of problems for people this season,” Caulfield said.
“Shane has built a local team and done really well to get them promoted. They were very impressive last season and won the division well and, since they have come up, they have done well. Derry, who are joint top, scored in the 94th minute to beat them and Dundalk scored in the 88th minute to beat them.”
Greg Bolger returns from suspension for the home side, while Alan Bennett is back in contention after missing the draw with Sligo. John Kavanagh remains sidelined as he recovers from surgery, while Michael McSweeney is a major doubt for the game after suffering a knock during the week.
With champions Dundalk not in action until tomorrow both joint-first Derry City and third-placed Shamrock Rovers have a chance to go clear at the top when they meet at the Brandywell.
And in an open-looking league, fifth-placed Galway are just three points off the leaders as they look to bounce back from a defeat to the Hoops for the visit of Finn Harps to Eamonn Deacy Park.
In tonight’s other Premier Division game, St Patrick’s Athletic welcome bottom club Sligo to Richmond Park (live on RTÉ2) while, in the First Division, it’s Drogheda United v Limerick, Cabinteely v Cobh Ramblers, Athlone Town v Waterford United, and Shelbourne v UCD.
All tonight’s SSE Airtricity League games kick off at 7.45pm.
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