The home side enter this game in a state of flux in terms of results.
In their last ten, St Patrick’s Athletic have won four, lost four, and drawn two.
Their last three games read as, draw, win, loss. So, rather suitably, Pats find themselves exactly mid-table midway through this Premier Division season.
A look at the standings at the end of play tonight. Sligo closing in on a place in the top half, while Bohs stay third but fall 12 points off the pace. Dundalk & Shamrock Rovers level on points at the top. #RTEsoccer pic.twitter.com/PD8vyxR3Da
— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) May 24, 2019
Their last game, away to Dundalk, highlighted the extent of their inadequacies.
In a game where possession and control was going to be difficult to come by, Harry Kenny’s side were always going to play direct football. And, for a time, it appeared to have worked.
Dundalk were wasteful and, as the clock reached the 90-minute mark, Pats looked good for a point despite absorbing an inordinate amount of pressure.
A late corner did for the Saints after Sean Hoare got his foot in front of an attempted clearance and Pats were heading back to Inchicore empty-handed.
This is the issue with Kenny’s team: If they don’t keep a clean sheet, they have very little chance of winning football matches; it’s now seven games since they scored more than once. That was against relegation-threatened UCD.
Cork City are another side suffering from dreadful inconsistency.
They’re also another side struggling in terms of their style. The lack of entertainment cost John Caulfield his job as manager, and those attending Turner’s Cross this season have made their feelings on the matter clear. Many have unfortunately voted with their feet.
Cork have lost five of the last ten, with two draws and three wins. Of their last 12 games, the Leesiders have scored more than once just once, and that was, once again, against UCD.
Caulfield’s departure led to back-to-back wins against Bohemians and that 2-0 win over UCD. Progress was halted with defeat to Dundalk, followed by another win against UCD (1-0), followed by last week’s defeat to Shamrock Rovers.
There’s a case to be made for both sides here.
Pats will have home advantage, they have the best defence in the league outside the top-three, and they will be motivated to claim three points.
Kenny’s side have a reasonably strong playing group; however, after watching them live recently, I’m starting to sense and believe they are and will continue to be misused.
On that note, John Cotter has Cork playing more-ambitious football since taking interim charge of the team, but results have yet to follow.
Last year’s defeated title-defenders should travel to Inchicore with ambition.
They managed to do an away double over Pats last year, winning 3-2 and 3-1. A win and draw at home gave Cork City 10 points from a possible 12.
It’s not been so good this year with Pats winning at home 1-0 in the season-opener, the two sides then drew 1-1 at Turner’s Cross in April.
— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) April 15, 2019
Cork were a far stronger side than St Pat’s last year; that dynamic has probably reversed, while neither side has any real form upon which to hang their hat.
It will, quite likely, be a low-scoring dour affair. Not exactly what the league needs or wants considering it will be broadcast live on RTE2 on Friday evening.
I’m not touching the match bet based on the volatility of each team’s respective results.
However, I think the 13/5 about a Cork City win is better value than a St Pat’s win at 21/20.
My main bet here is Under 1.5 Total Goals at 19/10.
As a secondary bet I like the look of the Draw as a Half Time Result at Evs.