This Sunday plays host to a Dublin derby with a lot more at stake than local pride.
Two of the capital’s biggest names, St Patrick’s Athletic and Bohemians, bring the curtain down on the 2021 League of Ireland season as they battle it out at the Aviva Stadium.
Up for grabs is the FAI Cup and in the case of Bohs a place in Europe, after they missed out of a top-four spot on the final day last weekend.
It’s a decider that has caught the imagination with ticket sales already surpassing the final attendance of five of the finals staged at the Aviva since the stadium started to host the showpiece in 2010. More people will attend this derby decider than watched the 2017, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011 FAI Cup finals in person.
Ticket sales hit over 25,000 a week before the 4 pm November 28 kick-off.
If the dress rehearsal is anything to go by that 25000 plus should be in for an entertaining afternoon. The pair shared four goals evenly as recent as November 1 and the fact that followed a five-goal July triller backs up the exciting game theory.
Inchicore’s St Patrick’s Athletic are looking to win the competition for the fourth time having won it in 1959, 1961, and 2014.
With eight outright wins, Bohs have had more success but haven’t lifted the trophy in over a decade. Their first FAI Cup success came as far back as 1928 and was followed by wins in 1935, 1970, 1976, 1992, 2001 and 2008.
The first final since 2014 to not feature Dundalk will also see two of the three PFA Ireland Player of the Year nominees go head to head.
Bohemians striker Georgie Kelly and St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder Chris Forrester have been nominated alongside Shamrock Rovers defender Roberto Lopes.Both played their parts in helping their respective clubs to reach this Sunday’s final. Forrester excelled at the heart of midfield in a very progressive season for league runners up St Pat’s, while Kelly has found the net 22 times in 33 appearances in all competitions during this campaign, including in the FAI Cup semi-final win over Waterford.
The talisman will both be hoping to increase the argument for them winning the award with a big performance in Irish football’s biggest cup game this weekend.
The final will be broadcast on RTE2, kick-off is 4 pm.