COLERAINE will hope to book a place in the quarter-final of the Irn-Bru Challenge Cup as they face Connah’s Quay Nomads on Saturday evening (KO 7:30pm)…
The Bannsiders’ unbeaten league record was broken last weekend as they fell to a 4-1 defeat to leaders Glenavon at The Showgrounds. That result means they now trail the Lurgan Blues by ten points at this early stage but attentions are now switched to Irn-Bru Challenge Cup duty.
It will be the battle of the cup winners at the Deeside Stadium as the Irish Cup holders face off against the Welsh Cup champions. The Nomads have made a strong start to the new Welsh Premier League season and currently sit top after ten games. Andy Morrison’s side arguably put in the performance of the second round last time out as they earned a 1-0 success away to Falkirk.
Coleraine boss Rodney McAree will be without the services of Lyndon Kane (metatarsal) and Josh Carson (knee) through injury. However striker Eoin Bradley is available for selection after missing the last two league games after being suspended. ‘Skinner’ will also have to absent for next weekend’s Premiership fixture against Crusaders. The Stripes received a boost against the Lurgan Blues as Aaron Traynor and Gareth McConaghie both made their returns from injury.
McAree is still waiting for his first win as Coleraine boss and admits he is anticipating ‘a very tough game’ in Wales.
“I’ve watched a couple of their videos and they are a big, physical strong side,” he said.
“It’s going to be a big test and you don’t really know where you are against other leagues until you come up against them, so that’s the challenge.
“It’s certainly a game that you won’t make wholesale changes as you want to pick things up as quickly as possible and play a strong team.
“I’ve managed to watch them on TV and through some clips online so at least we won’t be going into the game with no knowledge, they have scored 18 goals in their last 5 games while only conceding 4 so that has to be respected.
“We are expecting a very tough game and one which I hope the supporters will enjoy.”
As ever, those unable to attend can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).
Supporters are reminded that they can watch the fixture via different media platforms HERE.