FRIDAY 5 OCTOBER
Bray Wanderers v Shamrock Rovers, 7.45
Bray defender Shane O'Connor who picked up a groin injury in the game against Drogheda United, and missed the trip to Tolka Park last Friday will once again sit out the game at the Carlisle Grounds as the injury has failed to respond to treatment.
Also missing will be striker John Mulroy who picked up a similar injury against Shelbourne last Friday night in the drawn game at the north city venue.
Speaking following that game at Tolka Park, Bray's director of football Pat Devlin said: "It was a good performance and we probably shaded it on chances, but just couldn't find the net. It was another clean sheet which is positive".
Looking ahead to the visit of the Hoops, Devlin added: "Games between Bray and Rovers are always good games, and at this stage of the season there is still a lot at stake.
"I am looking forward to welcoming Shamrock Rovers to the Carlisle Grounds, and we will give it a good go."
Graham Gartland and Conor Winn both remain out of the Shamrock Rovers squad with long-term back injuries. Shane O'Connor (hamstring) and Colin Hawkins (strain) are also ruled out with injuries.
Director of football Brian Laws hopes his squad can build on the 7-0 thumping of Dundalk last Friday: "I am expecting the players to be buoyed by the result against Dundalk last weekend, and go into the game against Bray feeling positive.
"I am also expecting the same level of performance that we got from them in that game.
"We were excellent and set the bar for the rest of the season; I won't accept anybody falling under that level for the rest of the season. We need to go out there and get another win on Friday night."
Cork City v Sligo Rovers, 8.00
For Cork, Ian Turner returns from suspension, but Gearóid Morrissey will miss out as he serves the second of a two-game ban.
Davin O’Neill is a doubt; the forward has been suffering with flu and will be assessed prior to the game.
Other than that, manager Tommy Dunne has a full squad to choose from, with a number of players having returned to training following injury in recent weeks.
On Friday's clash, the Cork boss said: “We are playing against the best team in the league. Sligo deserve to be top of the table as they have performed really well this year.
"I know that they have their priorities but we also have ours, namely trying to finish as high up the table as we can and hopefully claim a Setanta Cup place.”
“Although we are at home, we are under no illusions that it will be a very tough game. In our last meeting with Sligo (a 2-2 draw at the Showgrounds) they were very good.
"We got a result on that occasion, though we will need to be better than we were in that game if we are looking to win this match.”
“We are at home, and I would hope that we will get a big crowd out in Turner’s Cross. We will go out to play and create chances, and Sligo have played some excellent football this season.
"With the importance of the game for both sides, it has the makings of a good game.”
Alan Keane (metatarsal), Danny North (cruciate ligament) and Iafhlaith Davoren (heel) are ruled out for Slig.
The Bit o’ Red claimed a 1-0 win on their last visit to Cork, as North scored a late goal to secure the points. It was Rovers’ first win over City in eight matches.
Manager Ian Baraclough speaking about results earlier in the week said: “St Pat‘s had a great win on Monday night, they played an in-form UCD side after a tough game in Drogheda.
"They produced a terrific performance and scored five goals. The results last Monday told us what we already knew, that St Pat’s and Drogheda will not give up and they both rightfully believe they have a big chance to win the league.
"We are aiming for three points in Cork, that is the mindset as it is for every game and we know that if we keep picking up points then it will be enough for us to stay at the top no matter what the other results are.
"It doesn’t mean we’ll go gung-ho and leave ourselves needlessly open but we’ll be focused on what we have to do. We have earned the right to be the side with the advantage for the final matches and now we have to see it through.
On meeting Cork, previous meetings and a tough run-in: “I think the fact we’ve only lost one game in the league will stand us in good stead and give us confidence.
"It is not an easy run-in but as I said this is the what you face in trying to get over the line. Turner’s Cross has a lot of history, we are bringing a large travelling support and there will be a good atmosphere.
"With the added expectation on us and the television cameras present, I think Cork will try to put on a good performance for their fans and try to finish as high as they can this year.
"They are a good side. It was a real close, tense affair in the first meeting when Danny North struck late and at home we went 2-0 down before rescuing a draw. They have caused us problems, they’ve added to the squad along the way and they are going to improve.”
On the target this week after last week’s 4-1 win against Derry: “Looking back at the Derry game I thought it was a fantastic team effort and while Raffaele Cretaro may have taken the headlines with his goals and Pascal Millien for his dangerous runs, I felt it was a tremendous team display overall.
"There were brilliant performances from players that have continually done it all year that don‘t grab as much attention, but without them, then the likes of Raf and Mark Quigley would not be able to score the goals.
"That is what you need and it is why we are in the position we are in. The lead is now five and six points and results earlier in the week compounds it that the league is far from being over.
"It is up to us to now to make sure we perform on Friday and hopefully take the points we are looking for.”