by Owen Thornhill
SHAMROCK Rovers v Cork City will be the standout tie in the third round of the FAI Cup as Cork visit the champions at Tallaght Stadium.
Both encounters between the two teams have ended in scoring draws but whether it’s on the night or over a replay one team has to progress and a Cork City team who are playing good football will have nothing to fear from an out-of-form Shamrock Rovers side who should be a bit tired after Champions League qualifier ties.
The first tie is tonight v Ekranas FK of Lithuania who Cork beat 2-1 on aggregate in a 2006 UEFA cup qualifier.
Should Rovers progress they face the possibility of playing Scottish champions Celtic, Belgian side Anderlecht, Partizan Belgrade (again), Danish champions Copenhagen (again), Dynamo Kiev, Fenerbahçe, Panathinaikos or a number of strong European clubs in the third qualifying round.
St Pats and Sligo also are involved in European action as they play Bosnian and Slovakian opponents on Thursday night in the Europa League second round qualifying.
So good luck to the other League of Ireland clubs in Europe, and hopefully City can progress past Shams in front of a big crowd at Tallaght stadium.
Next up for Cork are top of the league Sligo Rovers this Sunday in the Showgrounds at 7pm which will be difficult despite Sligo’s travels a few days before.
Cork will have a busy week following this as they have a friendly on the Tuesday v former Chelsea star Gianfranco Zola’s Watford team and on Wednesday v a Man Utd XI.
Tickets are still available for all games but the Man Utd XI is likely to sell out.
For more of my views check out Star FM’s Star Sport Sunday at HERE. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/24017186