St Patrick's Athletic will be looking to secure a place in the final of the EA Sports Cup on Monday afternoon (August 3) as they make the short trip to Tallaght Stadium to face Shamrock Rovers (kick-off 4pm).
The Saints will be looking for a second win over the Hoops in the cup this season after knocking Pat Fenlon's side out of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup in May.
Following last Friday's seventh consecutive win in the SSE Airtricity League, Pat's will be looking to maintain that form against their Dublin rivals, with Saints' manager Liam Buckley emphasising that he is hoping his side can reach the final against either Galway United or Dundalk.
"I was really pleased with the result on Friday against Galway," Buckley told stpatsfc.com when reflecting on Friday's 3-1 win. "We didn't play particularly well in parts, but we got the result and that was the aim."
"Monday's game will be a really good game for neutrals as both teams will look to get the ball down and play attacking football. There should be a good atmosphere as our supporters will travel in good numbers, and with a place in a cup final up for grabs, both teams will be going all out to win it."
In team news, Buckley confirmed that he expects to have Jason McGuinness back in the fold after he suffered a head injury against Sligo Rovers two weeks ago that required 10 stitches, while Sean Hoare is back in full training following a hamstring injury and will face a late fitness test.
Greg Bolger is available once more having served a one match suspension, however Christy Fagan misses out with a knee injury and Shane McEleney is cup-tied having featured for Derry City in the EA Sports Cup.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com ahead of the game, Saints' winger Conan Byrne admitted that he is looking forward to the game and expressed his personal determination to reach the EA Sports Cup final having featured in Pat's penalty shoot-out triumph over Cork City in May.
"That win against Cork that night really was a big win for us as we'd come off the back of a bad defeat in the league so to go down to Turner's Cross midweek and win, it gave us great confidence and started us off on this good form domestically that we're on now."
With this competition being one of the only traditional domestic competitions that Byrne has yet to win in his career, he admits that it would be nice to complete the set having already won FAI Cups with Sporting Fingal and Pat's and a league with the club in 2013.
"Funnily enough, my second ever professional game for UCD was in a league cup final against Derry City which we lost, so getting to a final with Pat's would be great. You look back on your career at the things you've won, so we'll all be gunning to get to the final and get the result for our supporters."
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