Liam Buckley's Saints travel south tomorrow evening for the clash between second and third in the SSE Airtricity League as Cork City host the league champions, kick-off in Turner's Cross is 7.45pm.
Both sides will be looking to keep up with league leaders Dundalk, with Cork looking to pull away from the Saints, and the Inchicore side knowing that a win will put them ahead of the Rebel Army on goal difference.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com, Pat's manager Liam Buckley outlined that he was expecting a tough game on Friday night, but one that would be good for the neutrals.
“We know that Friday night will be a difficult game – all the games between ourselves and Cork this season and in past seasons have always been really tight and entertaining."
“Turner's Cross is a great venue to play football though, as the pitch there is always in great condition and the crowd always get behind the home team and make some noise. So it's a game that we look forward to as we know that the performance levels have to be right up there on the night to get a result.”
In team news, Buckley is without the services of both Sean Hoare and Chris Forrester who both serve a one match suspension. Ken Oman is a doubt with a calf strain and will be assessed before the game to determine his availability, while the Saints are boosted by the return of Republic of Ireland international Keith Fahey from suspension.
For Saints' midfielder Conan Byrne, the scorer of a late 93rd minute goal in a 3-2 win in Richmond Park versus Cork back in May, Friday's game is one he is looking forward to as both sides require the points on offer to close the gap to leaders Dundalk.
“Friday is an important game, for both sides. Dundalk beat Cork last week, so we know they'll be keen to bounce back from that game, while we are keen to keep winning after two good victories lately,” Byrne told stpatsfc.com.
“Cork are a tough and physical side so we know it won't be an easy game. But like I said, we're on a good run at the moment so we want to keep that going and see where it takes us.”
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