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Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Creaking Cork are unlikely to halt Dundalk

Sligo and Shamrock Rovers also deserve support

Dundalk did the double over Cork in the league this season
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From 7.15pm Friday

Dundalk can effectively seal their return to the top of Irish football  at Turner's Cross by kicking rivals Cork City while they are down.

A tense and perhaps title-deciding fixture had been in store, only for Cork to hit a dismal run of form at a critical stage.

Home games against St Patrick's and Sligo yielded just a point, while they were completely out of sorts against Bohemians last Friday, conceding four goals in the first half.

Boss John Caulfield will have to work his magic to get City's players to produce a performance good enough to stop Dundalk.

The Lilywhites have their own vulnerabilities but, after failing to impose themselves in their last five visits to Turner's Cross, they will want to make a point.

Cork will presumably drop Damien Delaney, who had a horror show against Bohemians, but deep down their players know that the league is almost certainly lost and several may already be thinking about what clubs they will join next season.

Dundalk, who are in good form, have quite a different narrative. Their squad depth means everyone is fighting to keep their place. Midfield will be a key area, a part of the pitch that has been a problem for Cork this season.

Waterford United are wobbling, with European football in 2019 anything but guaranteed, and Sligo are a bit of value to extend their remarkably good road record by winning at the RSC.

Rovers will likely exploit the problems that Blues have at the back and on recent form there is little between this pair.

Derry City predictably followed their victory over Cobh by losing to Bohemians in the FAI Cup semi-final and it is hard to see them avoiding another defeat on Saturday at home to Shamrock Rovers, who have taken 24 points from their last ten games, including a win at Dundalk.

2pts 23-20 Betway, BoyleSports
1pt 4-1 bet365
Shamrock Rovers
3pts 4-6 bet365

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Boss John Caulfield will have to work his magic to get City's players to produce a performance good enough to stop Dundalk
E.W. Terms
Sky bet