Sligo welcome Dundalk to the showgrounds this Friday evening in a position of considerable peril.
The Bit O’Red find themselves joint-second from bottom with UCD after picking up only two wins all season.
Liam Buckley’s men are on a run of three league defeats, four in all competitions, and will likely not be looking forward to the visit of the defending league champions.
In Sligo’s defence, the three Premier Division losses came to Bohemians, Derry City, and Shamrock Rovers. To a degree, the results are excusable.
The performances however, are less excusable. Three blanks in those games has left the team with just five goals scored in their eight games.
That means Sligo are averaging just 0.6 goals scored per game so far this season.
By way of contrast, Dundalk, who have been imperfect this season, are averaging 1.3 goals per game.
The Lilywhites were in fine form until last week’s defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic.
That was their first league defeat of the season.
Speaking of goal averages, Dundalk’s concession of four in eight games, averages out at just one every second game.
So despite the defeat, the available evidence suggests Dundalk aren’t far off the run-in form that saw them win last year’s title.
It could be a tough evening for Vinny Perth’s Dundalk team. Sligo have proven themselves tough to play against, and the reality of the Premier Division is that if a side fails to show-up fully committed, points can be lost.
While Buckley’s team have failed to fire they do possess a very practical attacking tool.
Romeo Parkes is a genuine handful, and when not being taken out mid-celebration, he’s fairly good in the air.
Sligo Rovers' Romeo Parkes fell flat on his face when trying this celebration against Finn Harps. We await the next goal then. pic.twitter.com/K3Vs5uL3w6
— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) March 2, 2019
In terms of recent head to heads, Dundalk have an excellent record over their West-Coast opposition.
It was a white-wash last season, four games, four wins the way of this week’s away side. An aggregate of 11-1 is as comprehensive as it gets.
However that sequence was stopped at Oriel Park in the season opener. In front of an expectant home side, Sligo took the lead with a decent free kick (‘keeper Gary Rodgers since saying he was unhappy with his part in the goal) and despite conceding an equaliser, the Bit O’Red travelled back to Sligo with a well earned point.
— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) February 18, 2019
It’s likely Dundalk will be focused on ensuring they leave the Showgrounds with three points.
Dundalk are rightly favoured to win this one.
2/7 is never anyone’s idea of value so backing Dundalk to Win to Nil at 20/21 is my first bet.
If you’re looking for an odds-against shot, I’d back Dundalk in the second half in the Half Time/Full Time market.
Half Time/Full Time – Draw/Dundalk at 13/5