IRISH football correspondent Dylan O’Neill (@Dylanoneill_95) has unearthed a slice of value in Friday night’s League of Ireland action.
Derry v Shamrock Rovers | Friday 19.45
I’m taking Derry City +0.50 on the Asian Handicap line at 5/7 with BetVictor where I’ll profit should the hosts avoid defeat on Friday night.
Both teams started this season well with Shamrock Rovers winning four of their five games and conceding just twice. However, two of these matches were against teams that have just been promoted (Wexford Youths and Finn Harps) or a side that had been pretty much being built from scratch (Sligo).
The defeat to St Pats, although for the most part an even game, showed how Rovers can be vulnerable at the back against decent quality strikers, especially against the likes of St Pats’ Christy Fagan and Friday’s opponent, Derry striker Rory Patterson.
Another reason I’ve chosen this bet is because of the team news for Shamrock – two of their most prominent attacking players (and new signings) in Gary Shaw and Dean Clarke will be missing through injury. Another young striker, Trevor Clarke, also misses out having grabbed his first goal last weekend.
These injuries mean that a lot of the attacking responsibility will fall on Rovers’ Brandon Mièle – a very good quality player, one of the best in the league when he’s on his game. But with no experienced and prolific service up front, despite an in-and-out of form Danny North, I think Rovers will struggle to break Derry down.
City, on the other hand, have been very impressive with four wins from six, scoring 10. Having began the season with a very unlucky 2-1 defeat away to Finn Harps, they bounced back the next week with a strong 1-0 victory over Cork, who’d be considered title contenders.
Derry they then followed that up with three consecutive victories, including an impressive 3-0 success at Bray and a 2-1 triumph against an improved Galway.
I watched their 1-1 draw with Dundalk last week and despite conceding within the first five minutes, Derry matched Dundalk for pretty much the entirety of the match and were helped by Dundalk’s holding midfielder Chris Shields red card before equalising soon after.
There’s definitely good reason to be on Derry this weekend, even despite Conor McCormack’s suspension following his red card last time out.
If Derry perform anything like they did against Dundalk, they should easily be able to hold Shamrock Rovers to a draw, or possibly even steal a win.
Derry v Shamrock Rovers – Derry +0.50 Asian Handicap (5/7 BetVictor)
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