GARETH MAHER - Thursday, April 15, 2010
Ryan Guy and St. Patrick's Athletic will be hoping to secured the win they need in Saturday's semi-final second leg against Sligo Rovers in order to reach the Setanta Sports Cup final, while Chris Konopka should feature for Waterford United in their clash with Monaghan United on Friday.
Sligo Rovers - St. Patrick's Athletic
Following their 4-1 thumping of Sligo in the first leg of their semi-final, St Pat's will feel that they are in an excellent position to book their place in the final of this year's All-Ireland tournament.
Pete Mahon has stated that his team's best chance of lifting some silverware is in the cup competitions, so he will surely view this game as a great opportunity to edge closer to that target.
Guy was superb in the first leg as he supplied the assist for the opening goal and finished off the scoring in stunning style as he blasted the ball into the top corner from distance.
If he can have a similar impact at the Showgrounds then the Saints should march into the final to meet the winner between Bohemians and Linfield. Their only injury concerns lie with Conor Kenna and Ian Bermingham.
Sligo will once again be without first-choice keeper Richard Brush, while playmaker Joseph Ndo is cup-tied. The Bit O'Red are likely to make several changes to their starting line-up, but this might be a lost cause for them.
Monaghan United - Waterford United
Konopka made his return from a knee injury in the EA Sports Cup first round win over Kerry League, where he added another clean sheet to his collection.
He should take his place between the posts for this crucial First Division match that sees The Blues travel up to Gortakeegan to take on an in-form Monaghan team.
Waterford are only missing Kevin Waters, so manager Stephen Henderson will be able to select his strongest team as they aim to extend their lead at the top of the table.