Wins, wins and more wins. As far as Dundalk are concerned, things have been going swimmingly of late. Friday’s hosts, having won each of their last seven matches, have continued to stick with league leaders Cork, who they’re now just a point behind. By scoring goals and generally beating teams with ease, Stephen Kenny’s men have gone about their business in good fashion over the last few months, so they ought to come into this fixture brimming with confidence.
In stark contrast, Limerick are struggling to get their heads in front. The visitors arrive here inside the relegation places, while they’ve won just one of their last seven. Even after a couple of draws, Tommy Barrett’s men probably won’t be feeling too confident ahead of this match, especially since they’ve already suffered two heavy losses against Dundalk this season.
With Dundalk having shown impeccable home form this season – the hosts have won nine and drawn two of their eleven matches at Oriel Park – and the visitors having struggled to make any real headway on their travels, this is something of an easy fixture to call in terms of the result. Dundalk are by far the better side and that is expected to be evident right from the word go on Friday evening.
From a winning point of view, backing the hosts to win simply makes no appeal at the prices, but backing ‘Dundalk -2 Handicap’ does indeed stand out. As we saw when they hammered Bray last time out, Dundalk, who’ve scored an average of 2.82 goals per home game this season, find it easy to dominate game on home soil, while they also tend to make light work of creating clear-cut chances. Against Limerick side that has been conceding goals on the road, the hosts ought to pull clear without too much trouble.
They may have kept a clean sheet in their last away match, though conceding goals has been a bit of a problem for Limerick on their travels this season. In fact, only two teams in the league have conceded more goals on the road than Limerick this season. What’s more, the visitors have been outclassed in each of their two previous meetings with Dundalk this season, conceding a rather embarrassing 11 goals and scoring none in 180 minutes of football against the title chasers.
It’s not just the goals that Dundalk score that makes them tough to face at home, but the goals that they don’t concede. Stephen Kenny’s men have conceded just four goals at home this season, which means that on average they let in just 0.36 goals per game at Oriel Park.
With the hosts having proven themselves to be far too good for Limerick twice already this season, they’re backed to make it a hat-trick of hefty wins against the relegation-threatened visitors.
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Dundalk have dominated this fixture in recent times. Friday’s hosts have won each of the last eight renewals, while they’re unbeaten in 12 against Limerick. The two previous meetings between then pair this season saw Dundalk win 8-0 and then 3-0.
The hosts will be without Chris Shields on Friday evening. The midfielder is suspended having received one too many yellow cards.
Having sustained no new injuries or suspensions last time out, Limerick should field a full strength side at Oriel Park on Friday night.