Airtricity League Weekend Betting Preview 12th April
With Sligo Rovers still going strong at the top of the Airtricity League, a second vs third place battle could tell a lot this week about which club is most likely to put real pressure on the champions this year. Here’s the BetPreviews rundown on the full card of Premier Division games scheduled to take place this weekend.
Dundalk v Derry City, Oriel Park, 7.45pm
It’s third versus second at Oriel Park and Dundalk can close to within a point of Derry City, if they can finally break their duck on the artificial surface that was supposed to give them a real edge in home games this season! Derry have been in scintillating form since opening their league season with a home defeat to Sligo Rovers and while they’ve had a relatively gentle run when it comes to the standard of opposition, the manner of their victories has been quite impressive. Derry, with 18 goals, are the leading scorers in the Premier Division and Dundalk, having conceded 10 goals so far, aren’t exactly the toughest nut to crack in the league defensively. There should be goals in this tie and 11/10 about over 2.5 total goals looks very attractive.
UCD v St. Patrick’s Athletic, The UCD Bowl, 7.45pm
If St Pats were to win their two games in hand they’d be in third place in the league and not too unhappy with their fortunes so far. However it’s hard to be confident about the chances of any team that has scored just four goals in five games, even if they have somehow managed to get extract nine points from those four goals. UCD have a seriously porous defence and already they look like a side that’s likely to find the season very long and very tough. However we’re still not going to oppose them tonight, at least not when we’ve to back a goal-shy team to win away from home at a best price of 1/2.
Shamrock Rovers v Bray Wanderers, Tallaght Stadium, 8pm
With six draws in seven games so far, the temptation to jump aboard the bandwagon and back another level game here at a best price of 15/4 (BetVictor) is actually quite strong. It’s not as if Bray will be too afraid of their opponents either – the Wicklow men actually have a decent record in Tallaght Stadium. They drew the only game between the sides played there last season and split wins with Rovers the year before, while it’s also a very short trip up the N11 for them. Bray will be missing captain Danny O’Connor (Achilles) and his brother Kevin (knee) for the second successive game while doubts surrounded the participation of Shane O’Connor (ankle) and Owen Hyland (groin). Those injuries are a huge concern since the Wanderers don’t have the strength in depth to compete with Rovers without their best players. Even so, we’re going to ignore all the rules of best practice and board that bandwagon – the draw is the recommendation!
Shelbourne v Drogheda United, Tolka Park, 8pm
The three games between these two sides last season were all won by Drogheda, and the Drogs will be optimistic of their chances of continuing their climb up the table against a Shelbourne team that badly need to get points and goals on the board, having only picked up one of each from their opening six games.
The money has come for the away side here too, with all the 6/5 and 11/10 disappearing off the boards. Paddy Power are now best price at 21/20 and we suspect that the thinking behind this is to allow for the traditional punter, who would struggle to get his head around the idea of a non-traditional club like Drogheda United as favourites to win away to Shels.
In one sense, we do feel a little bit of sympathy for Shels here – they’ve played a lot of strong teams in recent weeks and there’s no shame in a 2-0 away reverse to Sligo Rovers. However it’s very hard to break a cycle of defeats and against an in-form opponent like the Drogs, we’re going to back another defeat for the Shels here.
Sligo Rovers vs Cork City, Showgrounds, Saturday
Cork City picked up their second win of the season last weekend against UCD, but a home tie against the struggling students bears no comparison with a visit to the league champions. Quite honestly it’s a surprise that no firm is betting more than 7/1 about a win for Cork here. Meanwhile BetVictor are holding their price of 1/2 about Ian Baraclough’s men stretching out their run of victories to eight games. Cork City currently hold the Premier Division record of 8 wins to start the season from the 1998/99 season, so the added motivation for the visitors will be to protect their historic legacy.
We don’t like their chances.
Rovers to score over 2.5 goals is a 12/5 shot with Corals’ on their totals betting list and following this bet in every Rovers game so far would have been quite profitable. While Cork have been decent defensively in their six games, they’ve only played one of the top three in-form sides and that was at home, when they lost 1-0 to Derry. Sligo are averaging nearly three goals per game and against a mid table side in front of their own fans, that run could easily continue this week.
Dundalk v Derry City: Over 2.5 goals @ 11/10, 3pt stake
Shamrock Rovers v Bray Wanderers: Draw @ 15/4, 1pt stake
Shelbourne v Drogheda United: Drogheda @ 21/20, 2pt stake
Sligo Rovers vs Cork City: Sligo to score over 2.5 goals @ 12/5, 2pt stake