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The in-form Hoops' lack of cutting edge has seen plenty of low-scoring games and Al Hain-Cole does not expect them to open up against the prolific visitors

Shamrock Rovers will be hoping to put themselves into the title mix when they host Derry City at the Tallaght Stadium on Friday.

After a poor start to the season, Trevor Croly’s men have shot up in the table recently thanks to a return of 13 points from the last possible 15, and they are favourites at 10/11 (1.91) with bet365 to continue their fine form with victory in this one.

The visitors would move level on points with league leaders St. Pat’s Athletic should they come out on top in Dublin, and are available at 14/5 (3.80) to collect their third successive win against this opposition.

The hosts have drawn 10 of their 19 Premier Division matches so far, and you can get odds of 23/10 (3.30) on them being held to another stalemate in this one.

While The Hoops boast the joint best defensive record in the league, their return of just 24 goals scored is bettered by all but three other teams, and goes a long way to explaining their struggles in turning one point into three.

While the signing of former Derry striker Eamon Zayed will fill the home fans with plenty of optimism, his arrival is unlikely to turn the side into a prolific force overnight, and they cannot hope to outscore the league’s best attack in an end-to-end game.

Instead, Croly will attempt to keep things tight and grind out a victory, just as Dundalk managed in their edgy 1-0 win over The Candystripes last week.

A bet on under 2.5 goals would have paid out in seven of the hosts’ last eight league fixtures on home soil, and must be where the safe money lies at odds of 13/20 (1.65) in this encounter.

With both sides set to be evenly matched in a tight encounter, Rovers may be forced to settle for yet another draw, and odds of 23/10 (3.30) are well worth backing on the teams sharing the spoils on Friday.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Under 2.5 goals at 13/20 (1.65) with bet365
Draw at 23/10 (3.30) with bet365

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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