Cork City host Midleton in the final of the Munster Senior Cup as they look to retain the Munster FA’s most prestigious trophy for the third straight season (kick-off 7.45pm).
John Caulfield’s side come into the game having hit a bit of form in the league with back-to-back victories over Finn Harps and Bohemians in recent weeks.
The Rebel Army are undefeated in their last four games after tasting defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic and Waterford in their opening two league games.
City’s route to the Munster Senior Cup showcase has been somewhat more straightforward, with a 4-1 win over Fermoy followed with a tight win over Cobh Ramblers after extra time.
“We have won the competition for the last two years and we want to do so again,” Caulfield told the club’s media team.
“We know a lot about Midleton. They have two former City players in their ranks, with Danny Morrissey up front and Kevin Murray in defence.
“They did really well in the FAI Intermediate Cup this year, only losing out narrowly to Avondale, and they are doing very well in the league this year, having won it last year.
“They are a young team and a fit team, and it is a great occasion for them, but it is also a great occasion for us because it is a cup final and a game we want to win.”
Caulfield will look to make changes but may not make as many as expected due to the league game with UCD, which was due to take place on Friday, postponed due to international call-ups.
“It is an opportunity for us to make changes; a lot of players have been on the bench over the last number of weeks and it gives them a chance to get some game time as well.
“We have also had a number of lads who have been out injured, like Alan Bennett, Seán McLoughlin and Gary Boylan, so they will all come back in to play.
“Tadhg Ryan also needs some game time, and you have the lads who have been coming off the bench in recent weeks, like James Tilley, Liam Nash, Dan Smith, Kevin O’Connor, Garry Comerford, Ronan Hurley.
“We will make a number of changes, but we know that it will be a very tough game.”
Daire O’Connor is the only confirmed absentee for City after injuring his shoulder in last Friday’s league win over Bohemians.
Midleton arrive at Turner’s Cross almost nine years since their last Munster Senior Cup final, which saw Waterford United win out 3-1 at the RSC.
It’s a quirk of fate that only their second MSC final should come against the defending champions at the champions’ home ground.
It comes hot on the heels of Thursday’s FAI Cup qualifying round draw, which pits Midleton against Glebe North, whom they knocked out on their way to the FAI Intermediate Cup quarter-finals.
The odds are already stacked against the Munster Senior League side, who currently sit joint-bottom of the Premier Division, albeit with a number of games in hand.
They do, however, have the momentum of strong cup performance this season, having seen off Bonagee United and Glebe before a narrow defeat to Avondale United.
Their route to the final of the Munster Senior Cup has come about thanks to successive 2-1 victories over Carrigaline United and Mayfield United.
Midleton boast three former City players in Kevin Murray, Ray Lally and Danny Morrissey, Morrissey having re-signed in the winter following a spell with Limerick in the League of Ireland.
There is no team news for Midleton.
The two Cork sides last met in competitive action in the FAI Cup in 2011, when goals from current City striker Graham Cummins and Vinny Sullivan saw Tommy Dunne’s side to a 2-0 win.
Cork City 1/10; Draw 6/1; Midleton 14/1.
Cork City 3 – 1 Midleton
Injured: Daire O’Connor.