CORK City manager John Caulfield has labelled Shamrock Rovers as ‘favourites’ ahead of Friday night’s league clash in Tallaght.
City followed up their opening day draw away to Sligo with a resounding 5-0 win over Limerick at Turner’s Cross in their first home game of the season, while Rovers followed up 1-0 home win over St Pat’s on the opening day with a 2-0 win away to Longford Town last weekend.
‘They have done a lot of work in the close-season and there is a lot of talk about Rovers. They’ve won their first two games and there is huge expectation there,’ Caulfield said.
‘It will be a huge challenge, Rovers will be favourites, but at the same time, we played them three times in the league last season, once when Pat was in charge, and we won all three.
‘For us it will be a good test, but I feel that, since pre-season, the fitness levels are good and training has been very good and I think we are beginning to gel a bit better.
‘Rovers have some really good players and they have lots of options. I think it will be a good quality game; they like to play, we like to play and I just hope the conditions are better than on the opening weekend of the season! We are working hard all week preparing for the game and we certainly think we can get a result.’
The Cork City manager added: ‘We may well make changes from the Limerick game. We are working on a few things at the moment. The good thing for me is that pretty much everyone is fit, everyone wants to play, they are all on the edge trying to get their game, and that is a good place to be.’
Rob Lehane (groin) and Michael McSweeney (hamstring) will both miss out once again, while Josh O’Shea is also ruled out with a knock. Dan Murray has recovered from a groin strain and will be fit for selection.