Shelbourne take on the visitors Dundalk in the round 21 match of Irish Premier Division. The match will be played on Friday, June 24th at Tolka Park (Dublin).
Shelbourne, on the one hand, is a 16-time national champion. And the last time such success was recorded relatively recently, in 2006. On the other hand, it was only at the end of last season that the team returned to the Premier Division. So the task for the "Reds" is quite obvious: simply not go down again. In general, the intermediate results of the team are quite good. It turns out to consistently score more than a point on average per fight. As a result, now, after 19 rounds, they have 24 points. This is twice more than than Finn Harps, which is in the penultimate place. It seems that it even relaxed Damien Duff's wards a little. After 4 victories in a row, there were already 2 defeats in a row. And it's okay to lose to Shamrock Rovers, the champion of the last draw and the leader of the current one. But this was followed by 0-1 on the Bohemian field.
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Dundalk are clearly trying to impose a fight for the championship. Everyone knows this team, if only because in recent years it has managed to break into the group stage of the European Cup twice - for Ireland this is certainly a full-fledged breakthrough. In addition, in the period from 2014 to 2019, 5 championship titles were taken. But for the past 2 seasons in a row, it has not been possible to become the leader of the Premier Division again. And in 2021, The Lilywhites finished in 6th position - in fact, a failure and shame for the ex-champion. And now the team is seriously trying to compensate for this with their success in the current draw. So far, a hard start is failing, with the 1st victory in the first 7 rounds, and then the victories alternated with misfires. But now, for 5 fights in a row, they managed to win invariably. This breakthrough allowed to get to the 2nd place. The leader, Shamrock, is 5 points away, and this is with a match in hand!
Shelbourne last won a head-to-head almost 10 years ago, in the fall of 2012. This year, he managed to take a 1-1 draw at home, but lost to Dundalk 1-2 away. Bookmakers consider the odds of the pair as approximately equal. But still, it seems that Dundalk will have enough class to neutralize the advantage of the enemy in the form of the “home field” factor. We bet that the visitors will win this match, but with a “zero” handicap.
Prediction for the match: Dundalk to win with 0.0 handicap.