IRISH football correspondent Dylan O’Neill (@Dylanoneill_95) has unearthed a slice of value in Friday night’s League of Ireland action.
St Patrick’s v Wexford Youths | Friday 19.45
I’m supporting Wexford Youths with a +1.25 Asian Handicap and I’m getting my suggestion live as early as possible as I simply don’t see this price (13/18 BetVictor) holding for Friday night’s match.
Even offering St Patrick’s on a -1 line is criminal considering their understrength team this year – I’d have them closer to a -0.5, so this line offers very good value.
Wexford Youths were promoted to the Premier Division last year having finished top of the second tier comfortably, topping the table ahead of Finn Harps by six points and third-placed UCD by 12.
So far this year they’ve been very impressive, as many had already written them off as relegation candidates. But they’ve proven that they’re more than capable of competing at this level, performing admirably against champions Dundalk – only losing due to a very late goal.
It was a similar scenario against Derry – having equalised with just minutes to go, Derry stole the three points with literally the last kick of the game, despite it being a very even game. So in that respect, Wexford have been very unlucky not to salvage a point against the top two teams.
Youths have further shown their quality and ability to compete in this league with an entertaining 3-3 draw with mid-table Bohemians – a game in which Youths led three times – and then they finally secured their first win two weeks ago at home to a depleted Bray side.
Last weekend Wexford also managed to take a hugely impressive point away to an excellent Cork City side, having again taken the lead, only to forfeit it very late on.
I’ve posted in here about St Pats this season before so I’ll just highlight what I’ve said previously:
After finishing fourth last season, St Patrick’s Athletic have been forced to prepare for this season without their best players – Chris Forrester and Greg Bolger.
In fact, over the last two transfer windows, St Pats have lost a plethora of attacking – and arguably their best – talent which included top goalscorer Chris Forrester, second-top scorer Aaron Greene, key midfielders James Chambers and Killian Brennan and striker Ciaran Kilduff.
In their pre-season friendlies St Pat’s have largely failed to impress, barring a freak 7-1 victory against Shelbourne. Against Athlone and Cabinteely, St Pats could only muster 2-0 and 1-0 scorelines respectively (and Cabinteely finished bottom of the First Division last year).
St Pats were also beaten by Bray Wanderers 3-1 in the Leinster Senior Cup, which came as a bit of a shock to most since Bray have pretty much revamped their whole squad over the off-season.
So far this season Athletic have failed to impress, with very poor performances coming against Galway (on the opening day), Dundalk – whom they lost 4-0 to – and a Sligo Rovers team completely built from scratch last weekend, whom they could only manage to eke out a 1-1 draw against.
I watched most of the Sligo match and Pats were very poor going forward in the and created very little – if it wasn’t for the prolific Fagan popping up to head home in the second-half I don’t think they would’ve scored – even after the goal it was Sligo who had the best chances, missing a one-on-one.
In St Pats’ match on Monday night away to Finn Harps – the only part-time club in the Premier Division – Pats were incredibly fortunate to leave with three points having had a direct corner turned in for an own goal and then getting a penalty awarded with less than 10 to play.
The Finn Harps game had proven even enough mind, so again it shows that Pats were lucky to win this with a seemingly below par performance.
It’s very easy to see how much they’re missing players like Kilduff and the creativity of Forrester this season. Their results have been very lopsided with good wins against Bohemians and (a flattering) 2-0 away win v Shamrock.
But then the next week they just can’t seem to build on it so consistency is obviously a key concern for manager Liam Buckley.
I think the +1.25 Asian Handicap (13/18 BetVictor) offers very good value here considering Pats’ wild inconsistencies so far and Wexford Youth’s impressive performances, only losing by one goal margins conceded very late on.
Taking this selection will see us take a half-stakes win should Wexford lose by one goal but a full-stakes win paid out should the visitors avoid defeat. And I really can’t see St Pats winning this by two so it should be a minimum half-win.
St Patrick’s v Wexford Youths – Wexford Youths +1.25 Asian Handicap (13/18 BetVictor)
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