The League Of Ireland is back with a bang and the first live game is Dundalk at home to St Pats, a match I’ll be covering for RTÉ. This match should be a cracker and it’s one that I’m really looking forward to.
With only 13 games left in the season now, Dundalk have to hit the ground running and I believe they’ll win this game. They’re playing catch-up with Shamrock Rovers as they’re three points behind them. I reckon they’ll beat St Pats, who’ve lost two games from their first four games so far this season and Stevie O’Donnell is still getting to grips with his new squad.
This will be a tough game for Dundalk as Stevie is going back to Oriel Park and he’ll want to prove his point. It’s a Dundalk win though for me and I fancy Patrick Hoban to get the first goal too.
He’s got off to a great start to the season with five goals already and I can see him putting the Lilywhites in front on Friday night.
Derry City are hot favourites for this game and there’s a reason for that. They qualified for Europe last year, but they’ve had a slow start to this season with just one win in their four games. Declan Devine will be slightly concerned with that, but he’ll be looking to rectify the situation with a win here.
They should be too good for a Sligo Rovers side who have no form and no confidence having lost all four games so far before the enforced break.
They have signed Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe from Derry City, but he can’t play in this game. I fear for Sligo Rovers over the next few months and I see nothing but a Derry City win here at the Brandywell.
I fancy Shels big time to win this game as they’ve had a very good start to the season. Ian Morris will be delighted with that and has got two wins under their belt already.
We were all concerned for Waterford United during the lockdown after Alan Reynolds left, but John Sheridan has since come in and many Irish fans will remember John from his days with the international side.
It will be interesting to see what he brings to the table, but they’ve lost their captain Michael O’Connor and that’s a blow. With home advantage, I expect Shels to get the win on Saturday afternoon.
Shamrock Rovers have had an unbelievable start to the season with five wins from five games, and have scored 15 goals in the process. That has them top of the table and they’re the team to beat in the league.
Finn Harps have begun the campaign in okay fashion, but I don’t give them any hope here. Ollie Horgan has signed during the off-season with the likes of Dave Webster, Barry McNamee and Ryan Connolly all coming in and the aim for the Donegal side this season is to stay up.
I fully expect a comprehensive Rovers win here and I’d even go as far as to say that they’ll cover the (-1) handicap as well. The Shels – Shamrock Rovers double on Saturday is as solid as you’re going to get.
At the start of the season, I predicted that Cork City might struggle but I reckon the lockdown might have helped them. Neil Fenn would have worked on a lot of stuff during that period, but I still believe it will be tough for them and they will be happy just to stay in the Premier Division.
I don’t see them getting anything here against Bohs, who’ve won three of their first five games and are sitting in third place in the table. Keith Long will fancy his chances of a win here with the squad of players that he has, and I can see a victory for the Gypsies at Turner’s Cross on Sunday evening.
We’ve got four games on Friday night and I’m confident that I can click with a four-timer. Athlone Town are home to Wexford and with the visitors having struggled so far this season, I fancy a home win here.
At the Carlisle Grounds, Bray should win against Cobh Ramblers. One of the best bets on Friday is Cabinteely away to Galway Utd. They had a very good season last year and they’re playing a Galway side who were very poor in a friendly against Sligo Rovers last week.
I fancy an away win for Cabinteely and I also fancy an away win for Longford Town against UCD. They’re one of the favourites for promotion and Daire Doyle has done a really good job with them. The four-timer of Athlone Town, Bray Wanderers, Cabinteely and Longford works out at about 23/1 and I like those odds.
The Cawley’s Call trebles were going great before the lockdown and I’m sure I can hit the ground running with another winning treble.
The first leg is Derry City to beat Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers will win against Finn Harps. The last leg is Shels at home to Waterford Utd and that treble works out at about 13/8. That’s the Cawley’s Call for this week and I can’t see it not clicking!
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Friday 19:45 Dundalk v St Patrick’s Athletic: Patrick Hoban to score first
Friday 17:45 Derry City v Sligo Rovers: Derry City to win
Saturday 14:00 Shelbourne v Waterford United: Shelbourne to win
Saturday 17:00 Shamrock Rovers v Finn Harps: Shamrock Rovers (-1)
Sunday 17:00 Cork City v Bohemians: Bohemians to win
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