What to say about Shamrock Rovers? In their present form, they’re looking unbeatable.
Stephen Bradley’s side have won eight straight games in the league, they’ve dropped points on just two occasions, and they boast a goal difference twice that of their opponents, and closest chasers, Bohemians.
Their 1-0 win away to Derry City last time out that stands out as one of their best this season. A title-credential validator if there ever was one.
Aaron Greene netted the winner and his third league goal of the season for the Tallaght side, and he’s one of a number of players in flying form.
Rovers also boast the league’s current top scorer in Aaron McEneff. Among his five goals were vital winners against St Patrick’s Athletic and Cork City.
Defensive the Hoops have been relatively unbreakable, just the five conceded from 12 outings in the Premier Division so far.
Bohemians have arguably been even more impressive.
While they do trail Rovers by eight points, having played one less game, their part-time status and comparative resources versus the league leaders makes their run all the more impressive.
Defensive fortitude (conceding only 4 in 11) has seen Bohs rise to second in the table, if they were to find a touch more in attack I can see them running through the campaign in the European places and possibly chasing silverware.
The issue for Keith Long and his players is indeed in the goals-department, with seven in 11 games, they sit seventh in the goal-scoring standings for the league.
Three of those goals came in their last game, a 3-0 win against UCD at Dalymount Park, so maybe they have found that particular key.
Rovers have dropped points at home only once this season in a scoreless draw against defending champions Dundalk. Bohemians will do well to leave Dublin’s south side with a point or three.
Defeats for Bohs on the road to Dundalk and Cork City make it hard to argue their case here.
They were winners however the last time these two sides met. A Dinny Corcoran penalty was enough to send Bohs top after three games this season.
Further encouragement for the away side can be found in their head to head record against this season’s pace setters.
Their four meetings last year led to three wins for Bohs and a draw. That set of games included a six point haul from their two trips to Tallaght.
In fact it’s two years since Rovers have beaten Bohemians.
All of the above being said, opposing the 17 time League of Ireland champions has been a costly decision this year.
Understandably, Rovers are short price favs at 8/13 to pick up three points on Monday evening.
It can be hard to call genuine derbies such as these, however if things go close to as expected, I would take Rovers with an overs/unders bet.
Shamrock Rovers to win with under 3.5 goals at Evs.
For a bigger price, I would take a punt on Aaron Greene as an Anytime Goalscorer at 11/8.