2 April 2018
By Bryan Smyth
Cork City and Waterford will play out the first of two encounters in quick succession, as they meet in the EA Sports Cup tonight at the RSC.
City come into the game on the back of a 4-0 win away to Bray Wanderers on Friday night, a result that leaves them with six wins, a draw and one defeat from their opening nine games of the 2018 Premier Division campaign.
Waterford’s last outing was a 2-0 win away to Limerick, also on Friday, and they are just a point behind City in the league, with six wins and two defeats from their eight games so far.
City’s last game in the EA Sports Cup was an extra time defeat away to Shamrock Rovers in last year’s semi-final, while Waterford went out in the quarter finals to eventual winners Dundalk. City received a bye in the opening round this year, while Waterford booked their place in this tie thanks to a 4-1 win over UCC.
Speaking to the media after training on Sunday morning, City boss John Caulfield said: “We are looking forward to it. We are going to make a lot of changes and all of the boys are enthusiastic about the chance to get a game. Some of them have been on the bench for a while and that can be frustrating, so it is a chance for them to get a game. Waterford are obviously flying high, so it is a good game, it is a cup tie and we would love to win it.”
“We had the Munster Senior Cup last week and a lot of the lads got their first full game in a while, so it is coming at a good time and they are all looking forward to another game. They all want to stake a claim for a place in the starting eleven and it is a good game for them against a Waterford team who have a very good squad.”
“It is a competition you would love to win but, at the same time, you have to give guys game time. The fellas on the edge need a chance to show what they can do, because we go into a very hectic period between now and the break. The good thing is that we have more strength in depth, as well as some very talented Under 19 players, than we would have had a few years ago when we wouldn’t have been able to make as many changes. I have no hesitation with the guys coming in because they played last week in the Munster Senior Cup and they were really good, and I expect them to be even better tomorrow. Obviously, it is a much tougher challenge tomorrow and Waterford are a much stronger team, so I think it is a good game for both clubs.”
In squad news, Caulfield is likely to make a number of changes from Friday’s win against Bray. Shane Griffin is unlikely to feature, as is Alan Bennett, while Johnny Dunleavy is not yet back in contention.
Injury News: Johnny Dunleavy, Shane Griffin, Alan Bennett
Last game: Bray Wanderers 0-4 Cork City
Last meeting: Cork City 2-0 Waterford
League Form (most recent game first): W W D W L W