It’s been a difficult return to the Premier Division for Finn Harps.
They’re yet to pick up a win after seven games. Five defeats and two draws have left them on two points from a possible 21.
With a run of results like that it should be of no surprise that Harps are struggling to find a successful formula in defence and attack.
They’ve drawn blanks in three of their seven, including last time out in their 3-0 defeat to fellow relegation candidates UCD.
To boot, they’re averaging the concession of two goals per game this season. Keep that up and they’ve a one-way ticket to Division One.
Things are immeasurably better for the away side.
Shamrock Rovers top the table after winning five from their seven. Their most recent outing was against Sligo Rovers last Friday. An impressive 3-0 win in Tallaght only further highlighted their title credentials.
Encouragingly, their only dropped points of the season came at the hands of last years’ Champions Dundalk (0-0) and this season’s early pacesetters Bohemians (0-1).
Just to emphasise the gap between these two sides in terms of form, Rovers have conceded just once in seven league games. Finn Harps have been breached 14 times.
In winning their last three games in a row, Rovers took the lead in each of the three and went on to keep clean sheets.
So much of the fate of Finn Harps for this game will be tied up in the first half in my opinion.
Playing at Finn Park, an early goal for the home side will give them a great shot at attaining at least a point, go behind early and the league leaders should shut things out.
Harps managed to secure a point against defending champions Dundalk in such a fashion with their goal coming 30 minutes earlier than the Lilywhites’ 70th minute equaliser.
The two sides have already met in the league this season with Rovers running out comfortable 3-0 winners.
Last season, Harps were fighting their way through Division One while Shamrock Rovers were neither here nor there in finishing a clear third in the Premier Division. The season previous saw the Dublin side achieve a whitewash in their three league meetings.
With a head to head record of that nature, and with both sides book-ending the standings so far, Rovers to win looks the only shout.
Harps boss Ollie Horgan will have to do without Mark Timlin and Gareth Harkin owing to injury. Sean Boyd misses out as he is on loan to Harps from Rovers.
For the away side, they’re enjoying the deserved plaudits of having a number of players called up for senior and under 21 international duty. However they must now endure the practical consequences. Jack Byrne is with the senior side, both Trevor Clarke and Brandon Kavanagh are with Stephen Kenny and the U21’s.
Here it is 🙌 @Jackb_8 strike to make it 3-0 tonight.
Pick. It. Out. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/nIxNBMyIYw
— Shamrock Rovers FC 🇮🇪 (@ShamrockRovers) March 16, 2019
Stephen Bradley’s side are available at 2/5 for the match win. Rovers have an 89 per cent win ratio at that price.
I would want a bigger return backing a team making the trans-national trip to Donegal.
My first recommendation would be Shamrock Rovers to Win with over 1.5 goals at 8/11
There’s two more in a similar vein, Shamrock Rovers -1 to win at 5/4
and Half Time Result Shamrock Rovers at Evs