UCD v Bohemians (Premier Division)
Irish football is upon us once again and it was a frustrating week in the derbies for Bohemians, who were beaten 1-0 against their arch-rivals Shamrock Rovers on Friday before a 1-1 draw at home to a Shelbourne team they would have been wanting maximum points from on Monday. A third Dublin derby follows now against UCD, who are already Living up to their billing as favourites for the drop, meaning this is an ideal opportunity for Bohs to bounce back.
UCD have only scored twice all season and have shipped nine at the other end while Bohs 1-0 defeat against the Champions was the first time Keith Long’s men have failed to score this season. They were also without their main striker, Promise on the night through suspension and while he didn’t score on his return to the team against Shelbourne, his sheer presence on the pitch will have been a big boost as he’s a real handful for defenders to deal with given his size and strength.
Given UCD’s start to the season, it’s a surprise Bohs aren’t shorter here
Drogheda v Dundalk (Premier Division)
Dundalk are quickly becoming the League of Ireland’s draw specialists with the Lilywhites drawing five from six so far while their 3-0 home win over Finn Harps means Stephen O’Donnell’s charges remain unbeaten.
As for their Louth rivals, Drogheda United were expected to struggle this term, having lost a host of key players during the winter, and four defeats from five would suggest such predictions may be fairly accurate.
Even in the only game which they won this season, the warning signs were there as Drogheda conceded twice at home to a UCD side many expect to go down without much of a fuss this season. The fact UCD have failed to score against any other opponent this season tells you that Drogheda United are nothing more than an average side.
With the likes of Steven Bradley and Pat Hoban enjoying strong starts to the season, expect Dundalk to exploit the gaps in their neighbours defence. Meanwhile, early-season concerns about Dundalk’s ability to keep opponents out will have been steadied by shutting out the champions Shamrock Rovers on Monday and while goalkeeper Nathan Sheppard had to produce a couple of great saves, that is exactly what he’s there for and such a performance can only have done the ex-Brentford keepers confidence the world of good.
Dundalk need to start turning draws into wins and this is as good a time as any.
Athlone Town v Galway United (First Division)
Before a ball was even kicked this season, everyone had Athlone Town chalked down as the side who would finish bottom of the First Division this season. Just over a month into the new campaign, and you’d have to say such bets were fairly on the money.
It’s been three games and three defeats for the Midlanders, who despite scoring in every game have suffered the consequences of a leaky defence that has allowed at least two or more past their keeper’ in every game to date.
A lack of discipline has also been costly with Athlone seeing players sent off at crucial moments in consecutive games and overall, they just appeal as an extremely amateur outfit.
Galway United are a totally different kettle of fish, they are an extremely well organised and professional outfit who remain unbeaten, following three wins and a come from behind draw against title favourites Waterford. As a result, United sit second only on goal difference and currently averaging two goals game, they should enjoy the short trip to Athlone on Friday night.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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