Cork City v AEK Larnaca, Turner's Cross, 7.45pm

John Caulfield is full of respect for AEK Larnaca ahead of the Cypriots' visit to Leeside for the Europa League second qualifying first-leg collision on Thursday night, but the Cork City boss expects his men to go full throttle in front of a raucous home crowd.

Cork look home and hosed domestically, sitting 12 points clear at the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division with two games in hand.

A lengthy run in Europe is now on the agenda, and though Caulfield is braced for a stern test, he insisted his men will be going for it.

"They're every much a possession orientated team," he said. 

"They keep the ball incredibly well, move it all around the park and try and force mistakes out of you.

"We know we're up against it but to be fair, these guys have done incredibly well in the last couple of seasons and I'd be disappointed if we didn't have a really serious go at them. That's what we plan to do.

"We're not going into to sit back and soak up pressure. We still feel that there's opportunities that will develop for us and that there is areas we could cause them some problems."

Caulfield is relishing the challenge however and as he looks to the future with Cork, is hoping to make them a permanent fixtures on the European stage.

"This is where you want to be," he said. "You look at last Thursday night, nearly 7,000 people, the noise ringing in the lads’ ears coming out of the tunnel. We were two-one down at half time in a tricky tie, but the crowd understood the difficulty of the match and they knew what was needed; they were really incredible for us and we need all of that again on Thursday night.

"We think there are areas where we can cause them problems but, at the same time, we know they are very strong in lots of areas too."

"We know we are up against it but these guys have done incredibly well for the last couple of seasons and I’ll be disappointed if we didn’t have a really serious go at them, and that is what we plan to do."

On the injury front, Jimmy Keohane returns after serving a league suspension, while Alan Bennett has returned to training but is still rated as a doubt. Johnny Dunleavy and John Kavanagh are both definitely ruled out.

Meanwhile, the Leesiders have confirmed that youngster Conor McCarthy has signed his first professional contract with the club.

"I am delighted to sign a professional contract with Cork City," the defender said. 

"This has been the aim from when I joined the club at 16, right up to now and being in the first team squad.

"I can’t wait to get started; I have been training for the last couple of weeks and getting up to the pace, so it is up to me now to push on and make as many appearances as possible."