Limerick look to advance in EA Sports Cup

Limerick FC meet Cork City in EA Sports Cup.

Last season’s finalists Limerick entertain high-flying Cork City at the Markets Field this evening in the second round of the EA Sports Cup (kick-off 5pm). The Rebels were visitors to the Markets Field just two weeks ago in the league where they picked up a 3-0 victory.

Limerick come into this EA Sports cup clash off the back of two victories under interim manager Willie Boland against St. Patricks Athletic and Drogheda United. With only one full day since their game against Drogheda and four days to go before the visit of Galway, it is expected that several changes will be made to the Limerick team. Bastien Hery, Dave O’Connor, Ian Turner and Stephen Kenny will be expected to be involved from the start.

Limerick have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game with long-term absentee Shane Tracy nearing his return to an otherwise full squad.

Following Saturdays 3-0 win over Drogheda, Willie Boland spoke to the club’s official website and was delighted with the attitude of his players:

“The attitude and the hunger was excellent. We knew before the start of the game that if we won the game, it would put us up in to fourth place.”

Boland heaped praise on exciting young winger Chiedozie Ogbene, who was instrumental against the Boynesiders.

“Chiedozie was excellent for us again. He was a threat any time he received the ball. He had to withstand a lot of hefty challenges but he took his goal very well.”

Boland admitted that fringe players will get a chance against Cork.

“We will have a look at the lads and see how they came through the game. It’s also an opportunity for the lads who haven’t been playing games to put in a performance as well. We will look at how to set up and we will run through a few things before the game.”

Cork City return to the Markets Field two weeks after they beat Limerick 3-0 in the league. Since then, Cork have defeated Derry and Bohemians, scoring five goals in the process and conceding none. Jimmy Keohane is a definite absentee for the Rebels after picking up a shoulder injury in the victory over Bohemians.

Like Limerick, Cork are expected to make several changes to their starting 11 ahead of this one. Manager John Caulfield named several players, including under 19’s players, who will get their chance on Monday evening.

I expect we will make six or seven changes. We have a lot of fellas in contention; the likes of Alan Smith, Shane Griffin, Greg Bolger, Steven Beattie and Christian Nanetti are all in contention to play, along with a few of our Under 19 players, like Conor McCarthy, Aaron Drinan and Alec Byrne.”

Caulfield urged some of his players to stake a claim to be in the team for upcoming league games.

“We have players coming back in from injury who will want to stamp their mark on the game because they want to get back into the team. It is about us performing and those players coming in giving a top performance, because they need to do that to get back in the team.”

The Cork boss is aware of the threat that the 2016 finalists pose but insists he will have a strong team out and will be looking for the win.

“We saw Limerick last night against Drogheda and they were very impressive. Limerick are a very good side and we expect them to be at full strength, but we will have a strong side out and we are going there to get a win.”

Referee: Jim McKell

Match Stars: In 2002, these sides met in the League Cup quarter-final at Turners Cross. First Division Limerick provided a shock as they beat Cork to advance. Limerick went on to win the competition that season with another giant killing in the form of Derry City at the Brandywell.
Cork have emerged victorious in three of the last four competitive meetings between the sides.

Limerick:
Injured: None
Doubtful: None
Suspended: None

Cork:
Injured: Jimmy Keohane (shoulder)
Doubtful: None
Suspended: None

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