The quarter-final stage of the Extra.ie FAI Cup continues to roll on over the next week.
Athlone Town have already booked their place in the semis after their comprehensive 4-1 over Shelbourne back on the 31st of October.
Unfortunately, Covid reared its ugly head and pushed back certain proceedings. The last eight clash of Sligo Rovers and Derry City was also due to take place this Friday, in line with the other two remaining games in this round.
Due to a Covid outbreak in the Derry camp, that has now been pushed back to Wednesday the 25th of November.
On the bright side, we have three mouth-watering games to look forward to.
So, enough of this chin wagging, let’s look at the upcoming FAI Cup quarter-final ties as we continue to travel on the road to the Aviva.
Friday 20th of November 2020
Finn Harps vs Shamrock Rovers
Venue – Finn Park
Kick Off – 5.45 pm
Odds – Home Win 13/2 Away Win 1/3
Watch On – WatchLOI
Finn Harps pulled off a great escape to keep their Premier Division status alive for next season. Ollie Horgan’s men proved once again they will put their bodies on the line for the greater good of the club.
Home advantage in their last three league games would have helped their cause. They will be hoping it can aid them here once again.
The Donegal side only lost one out of their last five home games. Funnily enough, that one blip came against Shamrock Rovers two weeks ago. Harps are yet to concede a goal in this seasons FAI Cup. This will be a big ask for them to continue when the newly crowned champions come to town.
Rovers seem unstoppable and are full of vigour as they look to win the double this season. They romped home as champions, with a perfect unbeaten ‘invincible’ record. Only losing one game in all competitions this season. That came against AC Milan in the Europa League qualifiers, I think we can let them away with that one.
They also hold two victories over their opponents this season. Netting five goals past them in the process.
While they may be without Jack Byrne, Graham Burke and Aaron McEneff who are on international duty. There is certainly enough talent in that Rovers squad to put it up against a very game Finn Harps.
Prediction – Shamrock Rovers.
Bohemians vs Dundalk
Venue – Dalymount Park
Kick Off – 7.45 pm
Odds – Home Win 7/4 Away Win 13/10
Watch On – RTE 2
On paper an extremely tight affair can be expected in this one.
Host side Bohemians come into this match as silver medallist in the league campaign. They have plenty to be excited about with a dynamic young roster of talent and manager Keith Long recently penning a new four-year deal at the club.
They also picked up a good win against Dublin rivals St. Patricks Athletic on the final day of the season.
While Dundalk continue their hectic schedule, spinning the plates of both domestic and European football.
It’s proving to be a difficult task, as they are winless in their last six games in all competitions. Granted half of those results came against difficult opposition in the Europa League.
However, they have failed to beat Sligo, Waterford, and St. Patricks Athletic in those run of games. All sides that finished below them in the league table.
They also arrive to Dalymount Park with only a single point from their last four away games in all competitions.
The Lilywhites will be spurred on to get their hands on some sort of silverware this season. If they can lift the FAI Cup after reclaiming their place in Europe once again, it would be looked back on as a successful season all things considered.
Prediction – Bohs to win it in extra time.
Wednesday 25th of November 2020
Sligo Rovers vs Derry City
Venue – The Showgrounds
Kick Off – 7.30 pm
Odds – Home Win 7/5 Away Win 17/10
Watch On – WatchLOI
The game that seems cursed to never happen at this stage. Already on its second rescheduling due to Covid related issues in the Derry squad.
Sligo really pulled themselves out of the depths of possible relegation after the return of football back in July. They seemed a side in real trouble without a single point. However, manager Liam Buckley squeezed the best out of his side. Now they look set for a return to European football next season, depending on the outcome of this cup.
They also finished off the season with two wins over Cork City and Dundalk. With striker Ronan Coughlan scoring twice in those two games. Sligo fans will be hoping he has finally found his shooting boots to help them back to another cup final in the Aviva Stadium.
Derry have underachieved this season. They came in with a very good group of players and a passionate manager in Declan Devine. Many expected them to seriously challenge for European football. For one reason or another that just never came to be. The Candystripes can salvage something from this season if they can get themselves to an FAI Cup final.
They will need a rapid change in fortunes. Their form has been patchy at best this season. On the road they haven’t won in their last five games, that will also need to change here.
Sligo have also beaten Derry twice already this season in league action. Scoring three goals in those two games and conceding none. Sligo have also only lost one home game in their last seven. The omens really don’t look good for Derry City in this one.
Prediction – Sligo Rovers for me.
Semi-Final Draw Breakdown:
Athlone Town vs Bohemians/Dundalk
Finn Harps/Shamrock Rovers vs Sligo Rovers/Derry City
Give us your predictions.
Who else do you think is making it to the final four of this seasons FAI Cup?