Just a point separates Cork City and Waterford as they meet at the RSC on Friday night.
The sides were due to meet on Monday last in the EA Sports Cup, but that game fell victim to the weather.
City come into the game on the back of a 4-0 win away to Bray Wanderers on Friday night, a result that leaves them with six wins, a draw and one defeat from their opening nine games of the 2018 Premier Division campaign.
Waterford’s last outing was a 2-0 win away to Limerick, also on Friday, and they are just a point behind City in the league, with six wins and two defeats from their eight games so far.
Speaking to the media after training on Thursday, City boss John Caulfield said: “Waterford have done really well, their home form is really good and they have been scoring goals. They can play but they can mix it too and be quite physical, so they have a bit of everything really. It will be blustery down there because it is so open, and I expect it will be a right battle.”
“It will be a cracking atmosphere and a real battle. They are at home and it will be a full house, and they will see that a win will put them top of the table, so there are a lot of incentives for them. I would imagine it will be a more open game (than the one at Turner’s Cross in February), as the home team I think they will come out.”
“We are going into a game against a team that are flying high and taking results against everyone, so we need to make sure we are ready and that we can play the way we want to play. We believe we can create chances but, at the same time, we have to defend properly, because they are very dangerous. From our point of view, it is about making sure we play well.”