League champions St Patrick's Athletic travel south for their final Airtricity league match of the 2013 season against Cork City in Turner's Cross as they aim to maintain their 14 game unbeaten run in the league (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Saints can also make history by breaking their record league points tally of 73 points with a win against the Leesiders – a record which was set by Saints' manager Liam Buckley in his first spell at the club during the 1998/1999 league winning season.
In team news, the Saints remain without the services of Stephen Maher with a broken leg but otherwise have a full squad to select from.
The Saints' squad includes ever presents Ian Bermingham and Ger O'Brien who have started every league game this year, Conan Byrne who has featured in every league game (substitute in 2 games), while skipper Conor Kenna could feature having made his 150th club appearance in last Sunday's Leinster Senior Cup Final.
“We're all looking forward to the game as it's the climax of what has been a great year for us,” Buckley told stpatsfc.com. “Everyone connected with the club, the players and management, all our staff and volunteers, the supporters – they've all been fantastic over the past 10 months. So from that end of things, we'll be looking to finish the season as we started, and that's with a win.”
“Cork have been going well lately and scoring goals so it'll be a tough game. Turner's Cross is a really good venue to play in and atmosphere wise, it's one of the best grounds in the country. But we're hoping to wrap up the season with a result for our fans who I know are making the trip south in huge numbers.”
Having claimed six points against the Rebel Army to date this season, full-back Ger O'Brien recalled the key wins over Cork City during the season, including the Saints' 2-0 away win in May and the late 2-1 win in July thanks to a 92nd minute Killian Brennan penalty.
“That win down in Cork earlier in the season was definitely one of our most impressive performances this year. It really did help us continue a good run of form at the time and kept our away form going as well. It came at a time when we had a lot of tough games, as we had Drogheda away a few days later and Shamrock Rovers the following week,” O'Brien told stpatsfc.com.
Even with the league wrapped up at this stage, the Saints' defender explained that both he and the rest of the Saints' squad would not accept anything but a win on Friday.
“You can't take that will to win and to continue to get results out of people. We know we've the most goals scored and the least conceded so far so we'll be aiming for it to be that way come full-time on Friday,” O'Brien said.
“We'll be aiming to finish on a high as much for the supporters as ourselves. We owe it to them to do that as we know they're travelling down in huge numbers, Liam has been drilling that into us all week so complacency won't be an issue for us.”