LOI BEST BETS – Good Friday!

Good Friday has the potential to be a great Friday in the LOI as the Premier Division returns with a bang after the international break. The Dublin Derby live on RTE 2 between arch rivals Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians is very much the main event with the Gypsies hoping for a new manager bounce following the appointment of Alan Reynolds.

LOI TV Commentator & host of Between the Stripes LOI podcast, Kieran Burke is back again this week with his best bets for both the Premier and First Division matches this weekend.


The pressure is mounting on Dundalk boss Stephen O’Donnell after a desperate start to the league campaign and a humiliating Leinster Senior Cup exit at the hands of an amateur side last week.

Dundalk’s 2-0 loss away to St.Mochta’s was all the more shocking given O’Donnell named a starting XI containing plenty of first-team regulars with the Dublin outfit unlucky not to win by a greater margin as Dundalk again struggled to create any chances of note.

Five games into the Premier Division campaign and Dundalk are yet to score a goal from open play with Jamie Gullan’s free-kick in Tallaght the only occasion that Dundalk fans have been able to cheer a goal this season.

Given Shelbourne’s status as league leaders and as the team with the leagues best defensive record, Dundalk couldn’t have asked for a tougher assignment off the back of the international break.

Damien Duff’s Reds have conceded just three times in six matches and are unbeaten with five wins and a draw, winning five on the spin.

Defensive organisation has been the key to Shels success under Irish legend Duff and with structure being something Dundalk most certainly lack at the moment, it’s difficult to look past the home side here.

BEST BET: Shelbourne to win to nil (8/5) NAP


Cork City continued their unbeaten start to the season by claiming a point away to unbeaten Munster rivals Treaty United on Friday night. A rather dull scoreless draw may not have been the most exciting of ways for the Rebels to maintain their grip on top spot but that’s now five clean sheets from six matches with only one goal conceded, that’s the sort of defensive return that usually returns the title at this level.

There was certainly nothing dull about Athlone Town’s most recent match with the Westmeath men coming from 3-0 down at half-time in the Midlands derby at home to Longford to claim a deserved 3-3 draw. Athlone Town hit the post from point blank range at the death and would have been deserving of an unlikely three points given how dominate they were after the got back into the game through Dean Ebbe’s first goal of two on the night.

Ebbe, who has spent time playing in Wales and Gibraltar was unplayable at times and will give Cork City plenty to contend with at the back.

However, City are a cut above everyone else in the division when it comes to managing a game and if Longford Town had the likes of Greg Bolger in their ranks on Friday then there is no way they would have folded in the humiliating manner in which they did.

Despite the stunning comeback against their near neighbors, Athlone Town still find themselves on a winless run of five matches and they are likely to be outwitted at Turners Cross.

BEST BET: Cork City to win to nil (5/4)


St.Patrick’s Athletic spent St.Patrick’s weekend Stateside to take part in a glamour friendly against MLS side Minnesota. The hosts, who were far from full strength, ran out 1-0 winners but the pressure is now on the Saints to get back to winning ways in the league after a lackluster start containing just two victories and four defeats.

Drogheda United have made a worse start points wise but performances have been encouraging, particularly last time out in Sligo where the Drogs missed a glut of chances in a 3-1 defeat.

Much of Drogheda’s success since promotion in 2019 has been built off the back of strong home form and St.Pat’s will be more than aware of the task that faces them having lost on their most recent visit to Weavers Park.

Drogheda United won their last home game, which was a 2-1 win against the then Declan Devine managed Bohemians, while Pat’s have lost back-to-back away matches.

With the Saints clearly struggling to find a rhythm so far this season, I’m willing to take them on here.

BEST BET: Drogheda United Draw No Bet (7/5)

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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article