Cork City could go top this weekend if they can beat Waterford and the league leaders Dundalk lose at Shamrock Rovers. Cork have a game in hand on Dundalk, so even if they win and don’t go top on Friday they still have a chance of moving top in their next game. Waterford aren’t here to make up the numbers and possess the qualities needed to cause an upset in Cork, where a win would take the visitors to within five points of their hosts.
When the two sides last locked horns in April for a League Cup tie hosts Waterford needed a penalty shoot-out to secure their second win over Cork City of the month. Neither side could find a breakthrough during the ninety minutes and the game went to extra time, where former Everton striker Duffus put the hosts in front in the one hundredth minute. The first goal looked likely to win this tight an tense cup tie, but Cork City responded well to going behind and within two minutes they were level again thanks to O’Hanlon. Waterford would eventually win the game on penalties, their second victory over Cork City in the space of seventeen days after they beat their rivals 2-1 at home in the Premier Division.
With four wins, one draw, and one defeat from their last six matches Cork City head into Friday’s game as the clear form favourites. Visitors Waterford have only managed one win from their last six matches, drawing twice and losing the other three, but did return to winning ways last weekend after going five games in league and cup without a victory. Despite losing the last two meetings between the pair, Cork City have won four of their last six games against Waterford. The hosts are in great form and have kept three clean sheets in their last four matches, which means Waterford are going to have to be at their best to break down the hosts solid backline. Its hard to imagine anything but a Cork City win at home this weekend, despite the fact that Waterford only sit one place behind their hosts.
Cummins and Sadlier both top score for Cork City this season with eight Premier Division goals apiece, while Duffus has scored nine for Waterford and will provide a constant threat to the hosts goal on Friday. Both teams have failed to score in just two of their last six games, but on each each occasions that has been away from home for both clubs.
We’re confident that Cork City will continue their good form with victory over Waterford at home on Friday. The hosts have a great record against their guests and have looked very strong in defence over the last few weeks, which is why we believe the game will end in a comfortable 2-0 win for Cork City.
Cork City Predicted Lineup: McNulty, Bennett, Horgan, Griffin, McLoughlin, Keohane, McCormack, Sadlier, Buckley, Cummins, Sheppard.
Waterford Predicted Lineup: Vigouroux, Browne, Webster, Barnett, Puri, Héry, Holohan, Kasmi, Feely, Akinade, Duffus.
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These two teams have met forty times over the years, and with 19 wins, 12 draws, and 9 defeats its Cork who dominated this fixture. Waterford have won the last two encounters, 2-1 in the league and via a penalty shoot-out in the League Cup.
Garry Buckley, Gearoid Morrissey, and John Dunleavy could all miss the game through injury.
Garry Comerford and John Kavanagh look set to miss the trip to Cork due to injury.