SOCCER: Match Preview – Cork City v AEK Larnaca – in Cyprus

19 July 2017, Wednesday
By Bryan T. Smyth

Cork City will be aiming to overturn a first leg deficit, as they face AEK Larnaca in the Europa League on Thursday evening.

City suffered their first defeat of the season last Thursday as they were edged out 1-0 at Turner’s Cross, but they reacted positively to record a 2-0 win away to Bray Wanderers on Sunday.

Speaking ahead of the game, City manager John Caulfield said: “We know it will be difficult, we are one down, but we have had a chat about it and we have a game plan. We need to score obviously, and we feel we can do that. We know they will keep the ball and try to tire us out, but we have to conserve our energy and, at the same time, try to prevent them from scoring and keep ourselves in the game.”

“Last week, a lot of the lads felt they didn’t play as well as they could have but we have a plan in place. We want to keep the tie alive and, the longer the game goes on, we feel we can create opportunities with the pace we have. We certainly believe we that can score over here and make it interesting. There is a tremendous desire and determination amongst the squad that we will give a good performance.”

“The boys are in great spirits and really looking forward to the game. Since we have arrived, we can see that the heat and humidity is incredible, so we are working a lot on their hydration and being prepared properly.”

Alan Bennett returned to the side in Sunday’s win at Bray and he is being assessed ahead of the game, as are Kevin O’Connor and Stephen Dooley who missed the win at the Carlisle Grounds. Johnny Dunleavy will miss out as he recovers from surgery.

Injury News: Johnny Dunleavy, Alan Bennett, Kevin O’Connor, Stephen Dooley.

Suspensions: None

Last Europa League game: Cork City 0-1 AEK Larnaca

Last league game: Bray Wanderers 0-2 Cork City

League Form (most recent game first): W W W W W

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