Airtricity Premier Division Betting: Shamrock to win battle of the Rovers

3May 2013

Ír Premier League


Daniel McDonnell previews this weekend's matches in the Airtricity Premier Division and he believes Shamrock can get the better of Sligo in the battle of the Rovers...


There was no coincidence about the drawing up of this season's Airtricity League fixture list. The 12 teams clash three times, and each series finishes up with a  meeting of Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers, with the hierarchy clearly hoping for a last day showdown between the pre-season favourites.


It's not going to plan, however, with the Dubliners struggling desperately ahead of Sligo's visit tomorrow night. Trevor Croly's men are languishing in eighth  position, a full 13 points behind the league leaders, the Rovers from the West.


They have six draws from ten games to blame for their plight and a similar return in this encounter would not be deemed acceptable by the locals.


It helps that Sligo are showing some signs of vulnerability after kicking off the campaign with eight straight wins. Setanta Cup elimination, a league defeat to St  Patrick's Athletic and some sloppiness in a 2-2 draw with Drogheda has shown they have some chinks in their armour. They come to Tallaght without their two first  choice left backs which means that influential midfielder Aaron Greene - who struggled with the Hoops in 2012 - is likely to be pressed into an emergency role.


Croly's men have to try and exploit any weakness. Sligo have a reasonable record in Tallaght, with the big pitch suiting their expansive style. However, with the  talent at their disposal, and the pressing need for victory, it would be a huge disappointment to the natives if the hosts weren't capable of stepping up and  delivering a victory. They are trading at 3.05 for the win and, at the start of the campaign, it would have been difficult to envisage Shamrock Rovers kicking off any game at that price. Take the odds.


Elsewhere, it's always worth taking a chance on a high scoring game when Limerick go on their travels. Stuart Taylor's side have been involved in some tense games at  Thomond Park, but on their travels they've tended to be far more open. They hammered Bray 4-0 on their last away trip and, prior to that, they drew 2-2 with Drogheda  and Dundalk and were unfortunate to lose out 2-1 to Sligo, a low scoring fixture in comparison.


They are in Derry tomorrow night, with Declan Devine's men keen to sustain their title challenge. A speculative punt on the 3.9 about Over 3.5 Goals is a recommended fun bet.


Cork and St Patrick's Athletic were both involved in games on Monday and fatigue may be a factor in their meetings at Turner's Cross. It's 2.04 about the sides being level at half time, and that's a fair enough price in the circumstances; this game could take a while to warm up.


In-form Dundalk are in Bray and make reasonable appeal at 1.93. Stephen Kenny's men are effective on their travels and are a better side than the hosts, who conceded twice in the dying stages at home to Cork on Monday. It's hardly ideal preparation and Dundalk, who impressed in a 2-0 win over the Leesiders last Friday, can  capitalise.


Meanwhile, it's an early relegation battle at Tolka Park where Shelbourne - seeking a first league win - host UCD who achieved theirs in surprising circumstances  against Shamrock Rovers last Friday. Shels did earn a good draw in Limerick but with UCD showing signs of life, this should be a keenly contested encounter. The 6.6 about a 1-1 draw is a tentative pick.


Recommended Bets

Back Shamrock Rovers to beat Sligo Rovers @ 3.05

Back Over 3.5 Goals in Derry v Limerick @ 3.9

Back Half Time Draw in Cork v St Pat's @ 2.04

Back Dundalk to beat Bray @ 1.93

Back 1-1 Correct Score in Shelbourne v UCD @ 6.6



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Keywords: Airtricity Premier Division, Shamrock, battle, Rovers

Source: Betfair

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