Bottom of the table Bray suffered their third straight defeat last weekend and remain on a pitiful eight points from twenty games in the Irish Premier Division. Not only was that Bray’s third loss on the run, they have also failed to score a single goal during any of those defeats. On Friday night top half hopefuls St. Patrick’s Athletic provide the opposition at the Carlisle Grounds where they will be hoping to end their own run of defeats. The visitors have lost their last two matches, conceding three goals in each, which has left them sitting fifth in the table and six points behind third placed Waterford.
St. Patrick’s scored five without reply when they played host to Bray Wanderers in April. Keegan broke the deadlock in the seventeenth minute and teammate Toner doubled the home sides advantage shortly after the half hour mark. Conan Byrne made sure St. Patrick’s went in at the break with an unassailable lead when he dispatched a forty-first minute penalty to make it 3-0. the scorer of the first goal, Keegan, bagged his second of the game in the fifty-ninth minute, and three minutes later Clarke scored the final goal of the game to wrap up a convincing 5-0 win. St. Patrick’s dominated the ninety minutes with 67% of the possession and limited their guests to one shot on target.
With four wins and two defeats from their last six matches its visitors St. Patrick’s who head into Friday nights game as the clear form favourites. Bray Wanderers have only won one of their last six matches, drawing one and losing the other four, but have picked up four points from their last three home games. We’re expecting goals at both ends of the pitch in this game as four of their last six previous meetings have produced over 2.5 goals and seen both teams score. Bray in particular have been involved in goal rich games of late, with five of their last six matches producing over 2.5 goals, while three of St. Patrick’s have ended the same way. Three of Bray’s last six matches have also seen both teams score, and we believe their is a high chance of that happening again on Friday.
Coughlin and McCabe top score for the hosts with three league goals each this season, but the latter could miss the game after being substituted in the twenty-sixth minute of the 5-0 defeat at Dundalk. Conan Byrne and American Keegan both lead the way in front of goal for the visitors with five Premier Division goals to their name, while teammate Clarke has chipped in with four goals as well.
We’re confident that both teams will score and that this game will feature over 2.5 goals, as both clubs have been involved in high scoring games of late and neither have kept a clean sheet in their last three attempts. In terms of a final score, we’re backing Bray to come good and pick up a rare and much needed three points with a 2-1 win at home on Friday as they have improved in their own backyard over the last few weeks.
Bray Wanderers Predicted Lineup: Moran, Kenna, Heaney, Lynch, McKenna, McGovern, O’Conor, Hayes, Galvin, D. Kelly, Coughlin.
St. Patrick’s Predicted Lineup: Farago, Bermingham, Madden, Leahy, Toner, Desmond, C. Byrne, Brennan, Kelly, Doona, T. Byrne.
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These two clubs have met sixty-eight times over the years, and with 44 wins, 9 draws, and 15 defeats its St. Patrick’s who have dominated this fixture. The last four meetings have all ended in victory for St. Patrick’s.
Bray could be without up to eleven players for Friday’s game, as Dylan Hayes, Rhys Gorman, Gary McCabe, Hugh Douglas, Jake Ellis, Calvin Rogers, John Sullivan, Aaron Dillon, Jake Kelly, Darragh Noone, and Aaron Greene have all picked up injuries.
St. Patrick’s have a clean bill of health and no suspended players for the trip to Bray.