Cork City - St. Patricks Ath.

Cork City take on St. Patrick’s Athletic at Turner’s Cross in their first home tie of the second half of the League of Ireland Premier Division season. Home side still carries the title hopes, holding the fourth place with five points less than the leaders Bohemians. After six competitive games without a win and three league defeats from four games, lads woke up on the road against solid Galway United. Galway opened game with attacks (some excellent saves by Dan Connor), but as the game went Cork got stronger and first Silagailis found the net and Faz Kuduzovic with excellent strike just sealed the win. Manager Paul Doolin now looks for some consistency that will keep them in pursuit for the league title. Latvian international Robert Mezeckis (defender) and Billy Dennehy (winger) are both still sidelined with Achilles and hamstring injuries, but Shane Duggan (midfielder) will be available following suspension. Denis Behan (forward) picked up a knock to his ankle against Galway but it is hoped that he will recover to feature against Pats

After substantial financial losses in the last year, club announced the decision to revert to part-time football for the 2009 season. After loosing some very good players before the league start, Saints have noticed just six wins from 18 games so far and instead the battle for third place and European qualification, club is expecting the fight for avoiding relegation (just two points from the dangerous zone). They have two defeats in a row. Against Shamrock Rovers (home, 1-2) St Pat's had decent chances, mostly in the first half, but Rovers goalkeeper Barry Murphy did well to make several vital saves. Striker Gary Twigg got two chances, he took them both and made alarms ring at Richmond Park. However, the Saints must cope without leading striker and captain Mark Quigley who is out with a broken jaw sustained in the recent match with Drogheda United (0-1 defeat). Mark Leech (striker), Gary Dempsey (midfielder) and Damien Lynch (defender) are all out. Jamie Harris (defender) is struggling with a neck injury but may be passed fit to play. John Lester (midfielder) is suspended and while Dave Partridge (defender) returns from suspension Darragh Ryan (defender) returns from injury to join the squad. It seems Saints won’t attack too much, with five regular missings and the lack of variety in attacking line. A draw would probably satisfy them.

Paul Doolin probably couldn’t find better rival to establish some consistency in the results. Bookmaker predict small number of goals, offering miserable 1.55 for under. I think Cork will win (Pinnacle 1.62) and also from a lead at the half time and choose excellent 2.80 odd.
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