When it’s this early in the season, a single result can change the perceived and real form lines dramatically.
For instance, Bohemians are the undefeated league leaders, and the surprise package of the season. There’s a buzz around Phibsborough.
Derry are gradually finding their feet under a new, Derry-centric management team. Here’s a side happy to fly under the radar.
A win for Derry at Dalymount on Friday and they join Bohs on ten points after five league games.
The narrative can change so quickly.
Bohs went three for three before finally being held scoreless by Waterford at the RSC. Tellingly, Bohemians are yet to concede after 360 minutes of league football this season.
Derry enjoyed wins over UCD on opening week, and Waterford in their third fixture. They scored six in those two games, one at home (UCD), one away (Waterford). A 2-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers and their most recent game, a scoreless draw against Cork City has seen Declan Devine’s side draw blanks.
A fairly mixed bag all in all.
These sides faced each other five times last season. In their four league meetings Derry picked up three wins, twice in Dalymount and once at the Brandywell.
Bohs, as per their improved form in the second half of the season, won their last league game and most recently in the FAI Cup in September of last year.
The overall goal difference from all five of last season’s head to head record is at zero for both sides, with an average of 2.6 total goals per game.
The home side are averaging just one goal scored per game so far this season, so it’s a good thing they’re yet to concede.
Derry are hitting the net 1.5 times per game, and conceding a goal a game.
It’s early days but defences, or at least most defences, are winning out. I would be surprised if we got near last year’s average total goals for this match-up.
Aside from momentum, and home advantage, Bohemians have also have one of the league’s in-form strikers in Dinny Corcoran.
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) February 15, 2019
Derry have shown the capacity to produce against the league’s better sides, consider their win over Waterford and their draw against Cork at Turner’s Cross. They’ve also proved they can beat their immediate opposition with their winning record over Bohs from last season.
However considering Bohemian’s improvement in the second half of last season, the strength of their defence, and the Dalymount factor. I see them eking out a narrow win to return to the top of the league outright.
A fifth consecutive clean sheet for the home side would be an impressive achievement. As would a fourth win in five games.
While we’re still in the early-knockings of this Premier Division season, I’ll maintain my expectation of both of the above.
I’m looking at Bohemians to Win with Under 2.5 Goals at 14/5
or a secondary bet
Bohemians to Win Nil at 85/40