Cork City have more or less a full-strength squad to choose from ahead of their Europa League 1st round 1st leg clash with Estonians Levadia Tallinn tomorrow night.
The only confirmed absentee is club captain Johnny Dunleavey, whereas both Alan Bennett and Steven Beattie are expected to be fit.
The game in Pärnu, over two hours outside Tallinn, kicks off at 4.30 pm (Irish time) and will be broadcast live on Eir Sports. Eir Sports only confirmed that they would be broadcasting the game early this morning to the delight of not only Cork City fans, but all League of Ireland fans up and down the country.
City will be hoping to take their superb League form into Europe, and hopefully emulate Dundalk’s run in the competition last season.
For Levadia Tallinn, they come into the game on the back of a 3-0 cup win over Nõmme United.
John Caulfield told the media ahead of the clash, “Obviously, we have done our research on Levadia. They are second in the table and they have four or five very strong players.”
Outlining the strengths of the Levadia side Caulfield said, “Morelli, the Brazilian on loan from Middlesbrough, is their playmaker. Their captain, the centre forward Hunt, is an Estonian international and gets a lot of goals for them. They are quick up front, very direct and they get the ball into the box. Marin, who plays wide right, is also an Estonian international. They score lots of goals, they have 48 in 17 league matches and they are unbeaten this season.”
Caulfield was very complimentary to the hosts, “We have looked at them, they are very good going forward and create lots of chances. In my opinion, they look like a team that would be in the top four in our own league, and the intensity of the top games in the league here is similar to our own.”
He expects Cork to go out and score in tomorrow’s game, as a scoreless draw isn’t enough, “From our own point of view, we are on a great run of form. We had a phenomenal first half of the season and have started the second half really well. We feel that, if we can play to form, then we can get a result. We believe that, based on last year’s experience, we want to try and score an away goal, because the away goal is massive in Europe.”
“It will be an extremely tough game, but we are preparing well. The venue is very open and it is quite windy, so it is unlike the grounds we are used to in Ireland and we feel the conditions will have some bearing on things. At the same time, we are in good form and we are confident that we can put in a top performance; if we do that, we feel we will get a good result.”