JOE takes a look at this weekend's FAI Cup semi-finals
The league champions St Patrick's Athletic take on Finn Harps while Shamrock Rovers host cup specialists Derry City...
St Patrick's Athletic v Finn Harps
There are large sections of the Inchicore faithful that would tell you that they would prefer to see Pats lift the cup rather than win a league title. For most other clubs this would seem an insane thing to say but Pats' and the cup is a whole other story.
The clubs last taste of cup success was back in 1961 and in the meantime they have reached the final 7 times only to see other coloured ribbons wrapped around the handles.
Every fan of the Super Saints will have their own take of woe and heartbreak but it will take an almighty upset to prevent Liam Buckley's men from booking their place at the November 2nd Aviva final.
The Saints have been inconsistent in the defence of their league crown but they come into the game with no injury worries although they'll be without the services of midfield duo Greg Bolger (suspension) and Aaron Greene (cup-tied).
Pats were made to sweat in the last round against Bohemians, Greg Bolger's needless red-card almost cost them dearly, but in Christy Fagan they have a striker who is bang in form.
The former Man Utd trainee has scored 22 goals in all competitions his season while the Saints still boast some genuine quality in the the likes of Ian Bermingham, Keith Fahey and the prodigious Chris Forrester.
In some ways Finn Harps will relish the prospect of coming to Inchicore because no one expects them to upset Liam Buckey's men.
The Donegal side have been average in the First Division, drawing a massive 11 games from 27, but the cup has definitely been a welcome distraction for Ollie Horgan's side.
Harps haven't managed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight matches as all signs point to a home win but as history has taught us, you never know with Pats in the cup.
Shamrock Rovers v Derry City
The arrival of Pat Fenlon in Tallaght hasn't exactly heralded the sea change of results that was expected and yet there is still no denying that Rovers look a more coherent and organised team.
The Hoops are the countries most successful team in the FAI Cup, they've won it 24 times, but like Pats their recent history is absolutely awful.
1987 was the last time that Rovers last tasted cup glory and incredibly the Hoops have never beaten Derry in the FAI Cup. This is a massive game for the Tallaght club because a cup win looks like the only possible way that Rovers can qualify for European competition.
Rovers havent lost to Derry this season though and will fancy their chances of reaching the final in front of their own fans.
The Candystripes has doubts over goalkeeper Gerard Doherty, Aaron Barry (quad), Barry Molloy (groin) and Stephen Dooley (hamstring) ahead of the Tallaght Stadium clash.
Derry have proven themselves to be the definitive cup team over the past few years, the 2012 Cup Final was a cracker, so were sure that they will hold no fear over the trip to Tallaght.
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