Here’s two sides in desperate need of the three points.
Before we drill down in to the form lines of each respective team, now would be a good time to take stock of how the league stands after the first 10 games (11 for Shamrock Rovers).
It has been an interesting first stanza to 2019. Defending champions Dundalk find themselves at the foot of what I’m calling tier one of the table.
Rovers, Derry City, Bohemians, and Dundalk head the table in that order. There’s two points between second, third and fourth. Rovers have an eight point lead on the chasers, as mentioned, they’ve played a game more.
St Patrick’s Athletic top tier two of the table. In fact, only two points cover Pats in 5th and UCD in the relegation play-off position. Finn Harps are somewhat cast adrift at the bottom without a win.
Sandwiched in between St Pats and UCD are Cork City and Waterford and that’s where we pick things up.
Both teams are badly out of form. One point from a possible nine for both sides is not a tenable run if either of them harbour ambitions of European places or beyond.
Waterford have won only three league games this season. Two of which came back to back and at the RSC.
It’s a similar story for Cork City. Three wins, two on the road, one at Turner’s Cross.
Waterford have a superior goal difference, but only slightly, at one goal.
There’s little separate these two in terms of form. However, I see Waterford entering the game with the better mind-set.
From their four home games at RSC this season, they have kept a clean sheet on three occasions.
The 13 goals they’ve conceded in just six away games will need to be addressed.
Improvised goalkeeping such as this from their stopper Matthew Connor should be avoided for a start.
Waterford FC keeper Matthew Connor entertaining the crowd in The Showgrounds last night…doing all he can to keep the ball in play 🤷♂️😂 pic.twitter.com/OY5LavtxYL
— Waterford FC (@WaterfordFCie) April 16, 2019
Cork City strike me as a team traumatised.
Without a league win in four games, there has rarely been a positive moment for John Caufield’s men.
Their opposition on Friday night enjoy playing at home, while they themselves have struggled at times to create enough to expect to win games.
Monday night’s damaging defeat against UCD was a case in point. Cork surrendered 59 per cent of possession in a game that was more than a bit dull.
The stadium announcer’s request for Cork to move their parked bus was apt, and reportedly drew plenty of ironic cheers.
Cork are better than they’re showing at the moment, but I don’t see them righting the ship on Friday.
I can’t get away from anything other than a home win in this game.
It’s a hard game to call, near coin-toss prices of 13/8 about a Waterford win and 7/4 for an away-day victory for Cork illustrate this.
My first selection is Waterford to win in the Match Bet at that 13/8
A secondary, more conservative bet is to back Draw No Bet Waterford win at 5/6