Three non-league sides remain in the FAI Ford Cup as Bluebell United, Sheriff YC and College Corinthians looks to shock the big guns for a place in the quarter-finals.
Shamrock Rovers v Sheriff YC, Tallaght Stadium, 8pm
While Shamrock Rovers title challenge has petered out in recent weeks there is no doubting their cup pedigree having already won the Setanta Sports Cup this season and reaching next month’s EA SPORTS Cup Final.
Their sights are now focused on a cup treble and they will face a Sheriff YC side who picked up their seventh trophy of 2013 last Sunday when they beat FAI Intermediate Cup holders Avondale United in the Tom Hand Memorial Cup.
Richard Brush (shoulder) and Billy Dennehy (thigh) are both out of the game through injury.
Richie Ryan is a slight doubt with a hamstring strain, but should make the game. Sean O’Connor is suspended.
Sheriff went into last week’s game in Turner’s Cross without five of their regular players and the win means the FAI Junior Cup holders will travel to Tallaght Stadium with some degree of confidence.
Bluebell United v Derry City, Brandywell Stadium, 7.45pm
Having travelled to Athlone and knocked Roddy Collins’ side out of the cup following a replay in the last round, Bluebell obviously had no hesitation in conceding home advantage to Derry City when they drew the FAI Ford Cup holders.
However, the Athlone game came at the end of the end of the season for the Leinster Senior League outfit so they will be somewhat ring rusty even if they are facing a Derry City side coming off the back of five successive home defeats.
Derry saw off the challenge of another non-league side Blarney United in the last round and have no suspensions heading into this game.
Bray Wanderers v St Patrick's Athletic, Carlisle Grounds, 7.45pm
Bray’s 101st FAI Cup tie will be their fourth meeting with St Patrick’s Athletic in the competition with the Saints having won two of the previous three ties.
St Pat’s are also unbeaten in their last five visits to the Carlisle Grounds and face a Bray side that has failed to win in their last nine games.
Bray have also failed to keep a clean sheet against Saints at the Carlisle Grounds in the last 14 meetings between the sides.
The Seagulls beat First Division Mervue United in the last round while St Pat’s hammered UCD 5-0.
Bray’s new signings Stephen Quigley and Dwayne Wilson are both cup tied.There are also doubts about the fitness of Dáire Doyle (ankle), and Eoin Hyland (hamstring) but defenders Adam Mitchell and Shane O'Connor are fit again.
Saints John Russell returns from suspension and Shane McFaul has recovered from a groin injury but Philly Hughes is cup tied.
Dundalk v Limerick, Oriel Park, 7.45pm
Limerick are the only Premier Division side high-flying Dundalk haven’t beaten this season so Stuart Taylor’s side will travel north with some confidence after a recording a 2-2 draw and a 3-2 win in their previous meetings with the Lilywhites.
Indeed Limerick are unbeaten against Dundalk in their last five meetings and have only lost one of the previous nine games between the sides.
Dundalk come into the game on a run of four successive wins and easily saw off non-league Phoenix 4-0 in the last round.
Limerick also saw off non-league opposition in the second round when they defeated Glenville but they come into the tie on the back of successive league defeats by Drogheda United and UCD.
Dundalk’s John Mountney is likely to miss out with an ankle ligament problem, while Tiarnan Mulvenna returns from suspension.
Limerick’s joint-top scorer Craig Curran, who netted his seventh goal of the season last weekend, is suspended along with defender Patrick Nzuzi but Shaun Kelly is available while James McGrath and Danny Galbriath should be fit despite missing training during the week.
Finn Harps v Cobh Ramblers, Finn Park, 8pm
The only all-First Division clash of the third round puts together two clubs for whom the FAI Ford Cup is their only realistic hope of silverware this season.
Friday’s game will be the third time the two clubs have met in the FAI Cup, but the first at Finn Park.
The previous two meetings were both at St Colman’s Park while Cobh were still a Munster Senior League club with Harps winning 4-1 in 1981 and losing 1-0 in 1983 when Cobh went to the semi-finals before losing to the eventual winners Sligo Rovers after four games.
In three previous games this season between the two sides, Harps and Cobh have shared 13 goals. Both teams' league form has been disappointing this season and they both come into this tie with two wins and three defeats from their last five league games.
Harps welcome back Mark Forker who missed last week’s game with Waterford. Sean McCarron, the club’s top goalscorer this season, is also likely to return after recovering from illness.
Shelbourne v College Corinthians, Tolka Park, 8pm
Having seen off one Munster Senior League side in the last round when they defeated Bandon, Shelbourne now face College Corinthians for a place in the last eight.
For Shelbourne it is a welcome break from the relegation dog-fight they are currently embroiled in while it is the first competitive game of the season for Corinthians.
The sides have met in the FAI Cup previously, back on 15 February 1992, when they met in round one at Tolka Park with Shels winning 2-0.
Shelbourne will once again be without the services of Paul Crowley, Robert Bayly, Mark Leech and Jack Memery through injury while Brian Gannon is suspended and Lee Murphy and Jamie McGlynn are cup-tied.
Pat Flynn returns after serving a one-match ban.
Corinthians, who have been back in training for the past three weeks, travel with a young squad as many of their regulars are unavailable for the tie.