With the league beginning to take shape and players beginning to gel with one another, this series of fixtures may be an indication of how each team will do this season. Will we witness a top team struggle once again and get dragged into a relegation scrap or will we see a dark horse appear from no where to challenge for top honours?
Bray Wanderers v Sporting Fingal The Carlisle Grounds, Friday, 19th of March, 19.45 pm
Bray continued their poor start to the season last week with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Galway and Eddie Gormley will be hoping to get some points on the board against a Sporting Fingal side who secured their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw against Sligo last Friday night in Morton Stadium. Liam Buckley will be confident of picking up 3 points against a team that many fancy to struggle this season. Bray will be hoping to give their fans something to shout about as their home form will be a huge factor with regards where they’ll be playing next season.
Prediction : Draw
Drogheda United v Bohemians Hunky Dorys Park, Friday, 19th of March, 19.45 pm
Bohemians will travel to Drogheda full of confidence and looking to maintain their 100% start to the season. After coming from behind against UCD on Tuesday, Bohs will be hoping to get off to a faster start and make their quality pay dividends against a Drogheda side that shows all the signs of being very inconsistent this season. With a woeful display against UCD and a strong first half showing in their 2-2 draw with Dundalk, Drogheda will be hoping to go one better and record their first win of the season against current Champions, Bohemians.
Prediction : Away win
St.Patrick’s Athletics v UCD Richmond Park, Friday, 19th of March, 19.45 pm
St.Pats go into this game as the league leaders after impressive displays against Galway and Shamrock Rovers this season and can maintain their perfect start to the season against a UCD side that have impressed so far. UCD have caught the eye of many punters this season after a demolition of Drogheda and a good performance against Bohemians. However, I believe the Inchicore club will have too much for the Students as Pete Mahon aims to get the upper hand against his former employers.
Prediction : Home win
Sligo Rovers v Galway United The Showgrounds, Saturday, 20th of March, 19.45 pm
Sligo have drawn both of their opening games this season 1-1 and a repeat isn’t the worst prediction in this evenly matched encounter against a Galway side who have notched up 3 points so far this season after a home win against Bray Wanderers. Karl Sheppard may be vital to Galway’s chances of getting a result here after his impressive performance against Bray last week. Sligo will be relying on Padraig Amond and Eoin Doyle to provide the firepower to see off Sean Connor’s men.
Prediction : Draw
Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk Tallaght Stadium, Sunday, 21st of March, 15.45 pm
Rovers have got their season off to a poor start after a pre-season full of hype and expectation. An injury crisis up front hasn’t helped Michael O’Neill as Gary Twigg and Dessie Baker remain on the sidelines which may mean Graham Barrett will again play up front on his own. Dundalk have got their season off to a decent start after beating Bray Wanderers and collecting an unlikely point from Boyneside rivals Drogheda. Dundalk will be looking to take advantage of the newly formed Rovers defence in the hope of collecting all 3 points from Tallaght Stadium.
Prediction : Draw
My NAP of this week has to go to St.Pats -1 @ 23/10. Surely the Inchicore club must be brimming with confidence and fancy their chances against UCD at home. My NB goes on Draw/Bohemians HT/FT @ 16/5. Bohemians have been drawing at the break in the opening two fixtures this season and have gone onto win. Killian Brennan @ 13/5 and Padraig Amond @ 7/4 look like very good anytime goal scorer bets in a week that promises goals.
If you wish to follow my predictions, the accumulator pays out @ 102/1.