The last-16 of the FAI Cup has thrown up just two all Premier Division ties, unquestionably the most high-profile being the Dublin derby meeting between Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park.

This being a derby game, we're advised that consulting the form-book is a futile endeavour but Keith Long's side, after a sluggish start to the season, have found their groove in 2021, the highlight being their uplifting European run, which ended in agonising circumstances in Greece.

The effect that Shamrock Rovers' even more recent European exploits will have on them for Sunday remains to be seen, though Stephen Bradley's team have maintained their winning habit in the league until now.

The pair last tussled in this competition back in the 2019 semi-final, when Shamrock Rovers made the jaunt across the Liffey and claimed a sweet 2-0 victory.

The only other Premier Division tie is another derby, in the north-west, with Ollie Horgan's Finn Harps hosting Derry City.

The visitors have embarked on a nice run in the league, with four successive wins accumulated against Longford Town, Drogheda United, Dundalk and most recently Sligo Rovers. Ruadhri Higgins' side have climbed to five in the table.

Ollie Horgan retrieves the ball before a throw-in in Derry-Harps league meeting in 2021

Harps, who last won the Cup in 1974, continue to over-perform under their folk hero gaffer, Tunde Owalabi bagging a hat-trick as they upset title chasing St Pat's in Donegal last Friday. It was a third successive league win for Harps, who accounted for relegation certainties Longford Town and Sligo Rovers, in freefall, in previous weekends. Last time out in the Cup, they needed extra-time to account for Fairview, running out 3-0 winners.

Speaking ahead of the game, Horgan referenced Derry's recent burst of form: "Derry have seriously kicked on in recent weeks and they'll be full of confidence coming to Finn Park. Ruaidhri has done a serious job there since he came in and they strengthened a quality squad with the likes of Bastien Hery and Jamie McGonagle in the Summer window.

"Both games between the sides this season have been very close. We probably felt a bit hard done by in the last derby game at Finn Park as a couple of key decisions didn’t go our way but it’s up to us to go out now and put in a good performance."

On Friday evening, a Premier Division outfit returns to Turner's Cross for the first time in a year, as St Patrick's Athletic visit Cork City.

Cork's league form has improved latterly with no First Division defeat since 2 July, though their fans are resigned to the fact there will be no quick return to top flight. Dale Holland's late winner over Sligo Rovers in Round 1 is among their best moments of a difficult two years.

St Pat's title challenge has wilted in the last while and they're now three points adrift of Shamrock Rovers, with the champions still holding two games in hand. In the Cup, they slaughtered Bray Wanderers 6-0 in the opening round, the gulf in class obvious.

Despite this, Stephen O'Donnell is wary of the Leesiders recent up-tick in form.

"I am really looking forward to it. Cork's recent form has been really good so it is an opportunity to get into the cup quarter finals but no matter what happens or where Cork are or how they are going, Turner's Cross is always a really difficult place to go. They are a very good, vibrant young team and their form has really picked up and they’re playing some really good stuff at the minute.

Longford Town can distract themselves from the Premier Division grind with a trip to the Belfield Bowl, scene of a crucial promotion playoff victory late last year, to face UCD on Friday evening.

Longford Town manager Daire Doyle

Daire Doyle's side, after a creditable opening to their Premier Division tilt, have fallen off the pace, with league points becoming fewer and farther between as the season has progressed. They still haven't added a second entry in the win column since the opening day win over Derry City and are surely now destined to return to the second tier.

As ever, hovering near the top of the table is UCD, Andy Myler's side coming in off the back of hefty league wins over Athlone Town and Cobh Ramblers.

Dundalk, wobbling in the league, host St Mochta's in Oriel Park, the latter having dispatched fellow Leinster Senior League side Crumlin United 2-1 in the opening round.

Their stirring European efforts have not been matched in the domestic sphere and three successive losses, including a 4-1 humbling against St Pat's and a sickening Louth derby defeat has seen Vinny Perth's team stumble into the relegation playoff frame.

The Dundalk manager heaped praise on their opponents, noting the involvement of past LOI luminaries as they've risen to the summit of Leinster Senior League football.

"St Mochta's are a really strong side and their manager Brian McCarthy has done a brilliant job over the past seven or eight years building the club to where it is.

"They have a lot going on in the background with the likes of Colin Hawkins, Glen Crowe and Paul McNally, good ex-League of Ireland players, involved.

"They have real experience, and they have taken over the mantle of being the top Leinster Senior League club from the likes of Crumlin United over the past couple of years."

Kilnamanagh demolished St Kevin's Boys 4-1 in their first round game and their reward is a pop at Marc Bircham's in-form Waterford on Friday evening.

Waterford have broke out of the relegation zone, with four wins from the past five, the 2-1 loss in Inchicore in mid-August their only defeat.

Bircham is keen for his side to have a crack at Cup glory.

"Friday will be another tough game and we certainly won't be taking it for granted. They’ve got lots of League of Ireland experience in their squad and even a Cup winner, so we know we have to be on our game to progress. They had a good win in the First Round so we can’t be complacent.

"I spoke before the last round about the Cup and it’s a competition we want to do well in. Our league form has been good but the Cup creates a different focus. We want to win but we expect Kilnamanagh to have a right go with the talented players they have."

On Saturday, Maynooth University Town, who eased past Malahide 4-0 in the last round, host First Division strugglers Cobh Ramblers in John Hyland Park.

The Kildare club scooped FAI Intermediate Cup glory in 2017-18.

On Sunday, Hadden Park is the venue as Killester Donnycarney play host to Wexford FC. The north Dublin club overcame Usher Celtic in the opening round, thanks to Eoin Fowler's late goal.

Wexford, sitting a distant bottom at the foot of the First Division, did get some respite with a 3-0 crushing of Cabinteely in the First Round to crack into the last-16.