Friday Night Lights: League of Ireland Preview Week 2
Week Two in the top flight of Irish football throws up some interesting games. Shelbourne get their first taste of a Premier Division Dublin derby in quite some time while Drogheda's trip to Cork could be an intriguing game.
Following on from a successful opening week of predictions I will try and get you some value for a decent Friday night punt.
Dundalk v St Patricks Athletic
The Lilywhites had an auspicious start to the season, drawing 0-0 at newly promoted Monaghan. However, Dundalk haven't beaten Pats at Oriel Park since November 1998 and there are no real signs that this will change on Friday night. The 11/8 on Pats seems too good to pass up, with no real injury worries and having already won, Liam Buckley's side will be full of confidence. Dean Kelly scored the only goal in Richmond last week and will be the focal point for the Pats attack, he is backable at 5/1 first goalscorer, but I reckon at 5/4 anytime he will get on the score sheet. At 5/6 for Pats to win either half is a massive price.
Bohemians v Shelbourne
Aaron Callaghan will get a massive test in his first home match as Bohs manager when a game Shelbourne side make the short trek to Dalymount. The visitors far from disgraced themselves in the opening game of the season and lost a 1-0 lead late on at home to title contenders Sligo Rovers. The incentive to win their first Dublin derby of the season will be great for Alan Mathews' side and I think 15/8 seems a generous price for the former First Division team. Bohs were beaten in Derry last week and I think they will have to wait another week for their first league win. Despite only netting once last week I can see this as a game with goals and over 2.5 at 13/8 could be the bet.
Bray v Derry
The Seagulls went down admirably to St Pats on the opening night of the season, but once again they are going to be without a few first choice players. Derry on the other hand had a 1-0 win over Bohemians at the Brandywell. But I expect the visitors here to really up their game and 3-1 scoreline at 16/1 is not beyond the realm of possibility. 3-0 at 14/1 could happen, it all depends on if you expect Bray to score or not, something which I don't think will happen. Mark Farren is one of the many experienced Derry players and he could open the scoring at 11/2. Derry -1 goal at 11/5 is good, but I'm expecting more of a rout and at 13/2 for -2 goals I'd be a bit more adventurous.
Cork City v Drogheda
Drogheda United looked somewhat devoid of attacking options against Rovers last week, but managed to work a goal from nothing. Cork failed to score against UCD and consequently lost 1-0. Tommy Dunne's side could be missing up to six players for the visit of Drogheda while Mick Cooke will have a few faces back. This will not be a high scoring game, but I expect Drogheda to possibly nick it 1-0 at 12/1. The Boynesiders are 9/2 to win the game while the hosts are overvalued at 1/2. I fancy Drogheda on the double chance market at 11/8 for Drogheda or Draw.
Shamrock Rovers v Monaghan
Rovers may have only won 2-1 last week but they looked every bit the LOI champions and I reckon Monaghan are on a hiding to nothing at Tallaght. They may have to wait another week for their first goal back in the top flight, they drew 0-0 last week. The home side are 1/7 and although it will probably top up an acca there is no real value. Backing Rovers -2 goals at 21/10 is the bet for me. Buoyed by the massive home support they are likely to have I would fancy Kenny's men to win to nil and you can get 8/11 on Shamrock Rovers being the only side to score. Gary Twigg bagged a brace last week and in truth he could have had a lot more so I would back him at 5/2 to score 2 or more goals.
Sligo Rovers v UCD
Sligo and UCD play on Saturday night at the Showgrounds. The Students recorded a shock win last week at home to Cork City. But I don't expect them to have it their own way against the vastly experienced Rovers. The hosts are 1/5, justified, but I don't see them running away with this. UCD put in a good display last week to frustrate Cork and they dictated the game, I believe they will make it scrappy for Sligo and could be worth backing at 3/4 plus two goals. I reckon both sides will score in this fixture, 6/4 for that to happen, and Sligo will win. But not by much. Romuald Boco at Evs to score anytime looks a good price.
It must be noted that the 4/7 about Limerick in the First Division can't be ignored, they are a vastly superior side and should claim all three points. While Waterford are coming off a 6-0 hammering at Wexford last week.