The Leesiders are out to cause an upset against the 2013 Premier Division winners as they kick off the new season at homeCork City manager John Caulfield faces a difficult proposition when his team welcomes the champions St Patrick's Athletic to Turner's Cross for the opening Premier Division game of the season on Friday.
Having strengthened his squad during the off-season, Caulfield's team come into the game on the back of an impressive pre-season schedule but the 49-year-old is under no illusions about the task that awaits his team against the Saints.
"It's an extremely difficult match," he told reporters. "St Pat's are champions, they're in the Champions League, they've added to their squad with the likes of [Keith] Fahey, so they've a far superior budget than what we're on.
"But at the same time, the beauty of sport is that there are always upsets."
New signing Michael Rafter will miss the tie having picked up an injury in training, while Danny Morrissey remains a long-term concern, but Anthony Elding will be available. However, Ian Turner misses out through suspension.
League champions St Patrick's Athletic have continued winning ways in 2014, with victories in the Leinster Senior Cup, the Setanta Sports Cup and the President's Cup already under their belt.
Manager Liam Buckley has bolstered his squad with the acquisition of Republic of Ireland international Keith Fahey, as well as James Chambers, Ken Oman and striker Mark Quigley.
The 53-year-old will have a full squad to choose from, with no injuries or suspensions to contend with, and is looking forward to initiating a title defence.
"I'm delighted that the season is getting underway now, as this is what the players, the backroom staff and I have all been working towards: this first weekend," he told the club's official website.