Cork City go into their Europa League tie against AEK Larnaca knowing it will be the last time two of their star players ever put on their club’s jersey. Sean Maguire and Kevin O’Connor are moving onto pastures anew after this game and the team from the south of Ireland are sure to miss their talent.
Maguire has been a revelation since moving back to Ireland and has been knocking in goals for fun, while O’Connor’s class on the ball is a step above most of the players in the Irish Premier Division.
Both players will join Alex Neil’s Preston North End in the English Championship after this game, but both of them will want to sign-off in style. The first-leg of the Europa League tie didn’t go to plan for Cork, who conceded an late goal and lost 1-0. It was a cruel blow, considering they had plenty of chances to open the scoring prior to this.
The bookmakers aren’t hugely positive about their chances in the return leg in Cyprus. Ladbrokes has priced them at 9/2 to win over 90 minutes. It’s a tough task, but not an impossible one.
Afterall, they were holding their own for 70 minutes of that game in Turner’s Cross. It was an excellent Joan Truyols goal that eventually broke the deadlock and got the win for Cypriot side Larnaca.
Ladbrokes has them priced at 13/20 to repeat the trick and get the win against City. We wouldn’t rule out Larnaca parking the bus and trying to play for the draw that would see them progress.
This result is priced at 13/5 with 10Bet. Sitting back against Cork is a mistake that shouldn’t be made though. John Caulfield’s side have been nothing short of outstanding in the Irish Premier Division this season.
There are plenty of games left, but it doesn’t look as though any side will get close to Cork in that conquest.
Of course if Cork do score, there is the possibility of extra-time and penalties. We certainly would not rule this out, so there may be some value to be had in the ‘to qualify’ market.
Cork City are priced at 11/2, while Larnaca are at 1/10. Both of those odds are with 10Bet. Will it be a fairytale finish to both Maguire and O’Connor’s life at Cork City?
Only time will tell, but one thing is certain – the Irish side will not go out without a fight.