Sunday, August 14, 2022

Prediction: Finn Harps vs Shamrock Rovers

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 30 Jun 2022

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Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 9/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

The League of Ireland Premier Division is one of a few top-tier leagues in Europe where the season goes on through the summer, and on Friday evening, Finn Harp will welcome Shamrock Rovers to Finn Park as the two teams, with very different prospects and aspirations at this point, battle for points.

Finn Harp

Things look pretty dire for Finn Harp at this stage. They sit in ninth place in the league on 12 points from 20 matches, with just three points separating them from University College Dublin at the bottom. Looking up, there’s a mountain to climb if they have an eye on overtaking Drogheda United in eighth with 22 points, or Shelbourne in seventh with 25. Looking at the situation from any side, it’ll most likely be a battle between the Ollie Horgan’s men and UCD to avoid finishing last, even if the ninth place does lead into relegation play-offs.

All things considered, the poor form Finn Harp have shown recently isn’t surprising or much out of character, though the fact that their last-six run includes a 0-1 defeat at home to relegation rivals UCD perhaps does sting the eyes a bit. Apart from that, the run includes a 3-1 defeat away to Drogheda United, a 0-1 home defeat to Dundalk, a 2-2 draw away to Derry City, a 3-0 defeat away to Sligo Rovers, and a 2-2 draw at home against St Patrick’s Athletic.

Team News

Right-back David Webster will not play until the end of the year due to a cruciate ligament tear, so Ethan Boyle, who scored in the last match, should continue on the right defensive flank.

Filip Mihaljevic was sacrificed for a tactical switch against the Athletic to make way for defender Jose Carillo who ended up scoring the other goal, but the 30-year-old Croatian striker is likely to start again.

Shamrock Rovers

The situation could not be more different for Shamrock Rovers at this stage of the season. Having played 22 matches, they convincingly top the league with 48 points to their name, 10 more than Dundalk in second place, 11 more than Derry City in third, and 16 more than St Patrick’s Athletic in fourth. It’s obvious they’re well on course to be crowned the Irish champions for the third consecutive season, and there probably isn’t an opponent more favourable for them at the moment than Finn Harps as they seek to reinforce their dominion over the league.

Nonetheless, the Rovers needed to break a mini-run of underwhelming results to get and stay where they are with two of their last six matches ending winless. It started with a 2-0 win at home over Shelbourne, but then they drew without goals at home against Galway United and lost 1-0 away to Dundalk. However, they picked themselves up from that point on, and first they beat Cliftonville away by 0-1, then Bohemians at home by 1-0, and eventually St Patrick’s Athletic away by 1-2.

Team News

Aaron Greene is the man set to lead the front line for the champions again, this time backed up by captain Ronan Finn who entered off the bench the last time around.

Midfielder Jack Byrne has, on the other hand, suffered a calf injury and missed the last four matches. He isn’t likely to be back for this one either.

Conclusion

There isn’t much to be said about who’s the favourite to win this match, the table doesn’t lie as they say. The Rovers shouldn’t have too much difficulty in leaving Finn Park with the three points in the bag, though probably not with too many goals.

Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 9/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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