It seems this game has come at just the right time for both sides, both sets of fans, and all neutrals.
Both Dundalk and Cork are in the ascendancy after patchy starts to their respective league campaigns.
The Premier Division’s two biggest rivals for the last number of seasons meet at Oriel Park with designs on silverware this season once again.
For the home side, they remain undefeated in the league. Three draws from their first four games were followed by back-to-back wins against Waterford and Derry City.
After conceding one in each of their first three, three clean sheets have been secured. The Lilywhites have hit the net six times in the last two games, two more than they managed in their first four.
Dundalk’s performances against the likes of Shamrock Rovers, Derry and Waterford will give them confidence going in to this match.
— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) March 11, 2019
For Cork, they endured a far rockier start to their 2019 season.
After substantial upheaval in the off-season, a disjointed Cork team suffered consecutive losses in their first two games, steady improvements have seen Cork win three of their last four.
The height of which was an impressive 2-0 disposal of the previously undefeated Bohemians at Turner’s Cross last time out.
Cork City are finding the back of the net in recent games, like Dundalk, six in the last two games. Their defending has fallen short on occasion, their 4-3 win over bottom-side Finn Harps being a case in point.
— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) March 18, 2019
Goals have been the order of the day in recent games, and despite this match-up having a reputation for being tight, it’s averaged 2.5 goals per game in their last seven meetings. Last seasons President’s Cup, four league games, the FAI Cup final last season and this year’s President’s Cup.
Of this and last season’s set of seven, Dundalk have won five and Cork two. Dundalk are on a run of three straight wins over John Caulfield’s team.
Despite Dundalk’s imperfect start to the season, the quality of their football has been consistently strong. Cork City have more produced moments in games.
Their win over Bohs at Turner’s Cross marked a first comprehensive win for the Leesiders. Will they have the required discipline and conviction to hold off and subsequently put away Dundalk?
I think based on head to heads and this season’s form Dundalk have to be fancied narrowly.
Dundalk to Win with over 1.5 Total Goals at Evs is my primary selection for this game.
As a second bet I very much like the look of Sean Murray as an anytime goalscorer.
The former Watford man has hit the ground running at Oriel Park and his three league goals in six games makes the 10/3 about him scoring at any stage worth a punt.