Just off the plane from Gothenburg and it’s immediately off to Tallaght for the Setanta Sports Cup quarter-final first-leg between Shamrock Rovers and Linfield – their first meeting since 1984.
Two of the three all-time top scorers in the competition are due to play tonight – Peter Thompson and Mark Quigley. The Rovers attacker has scored 10 goals so far across four different clubs – a now-corrected Wikipedia article wrongly credited a 2011 semi-final goal to Daniel Kearns, which is why you may have seen it reported elsewhere as him being on nine.
Shamrock Rovers and Linfield both come into the game with a 50-50 record against teams from the other side of the border.
Rovers have supplied an excellent stats pack for the game, compiled by Karl Reilly – and that’s definitely worth a name-check tonight. But I’ll probably forget, so he’ll get one here.
Linfield will become all-time tournament top scorers again if they outscore Cork City by two goals tonight – the FAI don’t incorporate walkovers into their records.
Coverage on Setanta Ireland is from 7pm, kick-off at 7:30pm.
Will Downing, Dublin