Friday’s Irish Football Profesional Predictions and Best Bets


Dundalk v Finn Harps  (Premier Division)

Friday 22nd July – 7:45PM KO

It was an extremely damaging Sunday for Finn Harps survival hopes as the Donegal men threw away a 1-0 lead and conceded a 90+ minute winner at home to local rivals Derry City while at the same time just down the road, UCD were picking up a shock three points away to Sligo Rovers. As a result, UCD are now level on points with Harps at the bottom and what was perhaps most interesting from the weekend was Harps manager Ollie Horgan’s post-match comments. 

Horgan suggested that his Harps teams of years gone by would have been able to grind out a result in a game like this one against Derry City and his old teams would have defended the free-kick in which they conceded at the death. Subsequently, an unverified video that appeared to be filmed from outside the dressing rooms area on Sunday suggested the Finn Harps players may have been on the end of a good old-fashioned dressing down. “You’re going to be relegated and you couldn’t give a f*ck” is one of the quotes which can be heard in this unverified fan footage but combine that with Horgan’s apparent frustrations with his team at present and all certainly doesn’t appear right at Finn Harps. 

Dundalk probably delivered one of their poorest first-half performances of the season when Finn Harps came to Oriel Park early on this season. Dundalk were at sixes and sevens at the back and only for some woeful finishing from the visitors they would have been at least 3-0 up at the break. However, Harps didn’t take their chances and Dundalk eventually ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. 

The Lilywhites haven’t exactly been blowing opposition away of late with Stephen O’Donnell’s side only scoring more than 1 goal in one of their last seven matches, a 3-0 home win against UCD. The County Louth side played out a thrilling 1-1 draw away to St.Pat’s last Friday, a game which either side could have won. The football Dundalk played last week is levels beyond anything Finn Harps are capable of so this is a result that should only go one way.

Prediction: Dundalk to Win, 1.40 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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Athlone Town v Galway United  (Division 1)

Friday 22nd July – 7:45PM KO

It finally happened! After 19 consecutive games of total misery, Athlone Town finally snapped their long winless streak in the Midlands derby against local rivals Longford Town. With the tenth anniversary of their last “El Clasico” success fast approaching, Athlone Town finally got the monkey off their back by delivering a superb performance to down Longford Town by three goals to one away from home! 

The return of pacey winger Adam Lennon from UCD has given Athlone Town a much-needed boost and their front three of Lennon, Oluwa and Barnes is now a real force to be reckoned with. Thomas Oluwa bagged his seventh goal of the season and probably his best one yet, a stunning bicycle kick, to open the scoring in Longford on Saturday and it’s incredible none of the bigger clubs in the division have come in for the former Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians, and Larne wide-man. 

Saturday night’s derby day win was only Athlone Town’s second win of the season, the question now is can they build on it? It certainly won’t be an easy task as the Midlanders host another local rival on Friday night in the shape of title chasing Galway United. 

The Tribesmen managed to dig in deep for large periods with ten-men at a packed-out Turners Cross on Friday to hold league leaders and direct title rival Cork City to a scoreless draw. The fact City had an extra man for so long and failed to break down Galway at hone with the backing of a massive crowd tells you all you need to know about Galway, they’re as stubborn as a mule. 

However, United must now switch their game plan around and look to get on the front foot against what is still the division’s bottom side. Former Athlone Town defender turned red-hot striker, Stephen Walsh continues his incredible goal scoring form for John Caulfield’s side with “Walshy” now into double digits for the campaign while the addition of ex-Longford Town hero Rob Manley is a major boost to United’s promotion hopes. Manley scored on his recent debut against Cobh Ramblers and he’ll fancy his chances of another goal against his old Midland rivals having notched 6 goals in 10 career appearances against the Westmeath outfit. 

Despite their situation at the foot of the table, Athlone Town have now scored in their last six games on the spin while the two previous H2H encounters this season both featured over 2.5 goals. With so many exciting attacking players on show at Lissywoolen on Friday night, let’s hope for more of the same here. 

Prediction: Over 2.5 Goals, 1.50 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

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