Limerick will look to make it two wins on the bounce, while also booking their spot in the final of the Irish Daily FAI Cup as they make the trip south to face Munster rivals Cork City in Turners Cross.
Neil McDonald’s charges recorded a rare victory over their provincial rivals Friday night at the Markets Field, as goals from Rodrigo Tosi and Shane Tracy inside the opening ten minutes secured their side a vital 2-1 win in front of a vocal home support.
The win proved decisive in consolidating their spot in seventh place following impressive victories by St Patricks Athletic and Galway United to keep up the pressure on the Super Blues in the race to avoid the drop, while for the Rebels it left them needing a victory over Dundalk last Monday night to secure the league title.
However John Caulfield’s side continued their recent slump in league form, as a late equalizer from Robbie Benson meant the league leaders would have to wait at least another two weeks before officially becoming champions, as the focus now turns to the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup.
The Super Blues travel to Cork hoping to make it to the final for the first time in 35 years, having lifted the trophy back in 1982 following a 1-0 victory against Bohemians when playing under the guise of Limerick United, while the home side are the reigning champions and are looking to make the final for the third year in a row.
Cork City secured their place in the semi-final courtesy of a comfortable 4-1 victory away to Longford Town, whereas Limerick had a convincing 2-1 win away to Galway United to advance to the last four for the first time since 1994.
Speaking to corkcityfc.ie, Caulfield was adamant that last week’s encounter would have little impact on tonight’s Cup game, believing a performance anywhere like that produced on Monday against Dundalk will be enough to book their place in the final having learnt Limerick’s strengths last week.
“Last Friday night will have no bearing on this game. It is a cup game, a one-off with a trip to the Aviva for the winners. We know the team they will play and we know what they are about. If we concede and let them play on the counter-attack, we will be in trouble.”
“We need to play like we did on Monday, with our intensity and trying to get ahead. I think Monday will give us confidence, as will being at home; it’s a semi-final, it’s the cup we won last year and it is a chance to go to the Aviva,” he added.
City continue to be without long-term absentees Johnny Dunleavy and Alec Byrne, while there are concerns about Steven Beattie, Kieran Sadlier, Alan Bennett and Stephen Dooley, all of whom will be assessed ahead of the game.
Kick off for the Super Blue’s first FAI Cup semi-final in 23 years on Friday night is 7:15pm, with supporters reminded all tickets must be bought directly from Limerick FC, as no away tickets will be available at the ticket office in Turners Cross, while any supporter in possession of the wrong type of ticket will not be permitted entry to the ground using it.
Betting odds: Cork 4/9; draw 18/5; Limerick 11/2.