Wednesday 22 November 2017

tonight's fai cup previews

Shamrock Rovers v Cork City, Tallaght Stadium (7.45)

Match odds: Shamrock Rovers 12/5, Cork City 7/5, Draw 23/10

Referee: David McKeon (Dublin)

Team news: Cork's Dave Mulcahy is cup-tied while injury will prevent Alan Smith or John Dunleavy from playing again this season. Greg Bolger returns from suspension. Alan Bennett and Steven Beattie are doubts. Shamrock Rovers have to plan without Luke Byrne, Evan Osam and Craig Hyland.

Talking point: Five years ago, Rovers reached the group stages of the Europa League and were tipped to become the dominant force of the decade. Instead they have picked up just two pieces of silverware. So tonight's game carries huge importance for the club. The Cup has not been won since 1987 but whoever wins this tie will be favoured to prevail. Rovers need it more. Verdict: Home win

UCD v Dundalk, The UCD Bowl (7.45pm)

Match odds: UCD 12/1, Dundalk 1/5, Draw 11/2

Referee: Tomas Connolly (Dublin)

Team news: Dundalk will be without Ciaran Kilduff, who is again ruled out through a knee injury, while Darren Meenan and Robbie Benson returned to action on Tuesday evening after their respective groin and ankle injuries.

Talking point: On Tuesday they were in Sligo, tonight in UCD with Finn Harps and AZ Alkmaar to come next week. Have Dundalk the right to feel hard done by regarding the fixture schedule? Without doubt they do. The congested nature of the season defies logic. In reality, though, the logjam is likely to get even worse as they are expected to win tonight. "It's a good opportunity for us to progress to the semi-finals," said Gary Rogers, their goalkeeper. Verdict: Away win

Wexford Youths v Derry City , Ferrycarrig Park (7.45pm)

Match odds: Wexford Youths 5/1, Derry City 11/18, Draw 43/10

Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork)

Team news: Lukas Schubert (knee) is a doubt for Derry City while defenders Ryan McBride, Aaron Barry and Max Kraner remain sidelined through injury for the Candystripes. Danny Furlong, Danny Ledwith and Chris Kenny are doubts for Wexford.

Talking point: Even though Derry are overwhelming favourites to progress, it has to be remembered that the same thing was being said about Sligo in the previous round. Kenny Shiels, however, will guard his team against complacency. "We have to make sure that we have that energy and that dynamic to go and play with a determination and a tempo that will give us the best opportunity," Shiels said. "How you win is important; that is in my ethos and my philosophy, that we must play with a level of entertainment." Verdict: Away win

Irish Independent

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