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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Table-toppers Cork and Dundalk tough to separate

Jamie McGrath of Dundalk fends off Rory Hale of Derry (green)
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Cork City host Dundalk in a game that will be sold out at Turner's Cross, but is not the easiest for punters.

Dundalk won 1-0 when they clashed earlier in the season, but that score flattered Cork, who – as Jimmy Keohane said this week – "did not lay a glove" on the hosts. Dundalk celebrated that win as if they had won the World Cup, suggesting a spate of failures to beat the champions was hurting them.

Both teams have made quite a few changes in the off-season. Dundalk go into the game in better form, with Cork far from impressive of late but nevertheless winning games and giving few chances away.

Early quotes of 2-1 about Dundalk looked long but they are gone and 6-4 seems tight enough. Cork can surely up their game and Dundalk will give up chances against decent attacks, which Cork certainly have.

Everything points to it being fairly close and the draw could be a big price. Since the start of the 2016 campaign, Dundalk and Cork have exactly the same points total. That could still be the case after the game.

Derry look a decent bet at home to Shamrock Rovers, the wheels of whose season are in danger of falling off. Three straight league defeats preceded a result worse than any of those for the Hoops, failing to beat Limerick at home, and it seems as though they are suffering confidence-wise.

In contrast, Derry went on a winning rampage and, even though it came a cropper in Dundalk last Friday, a 2-2 draw was a fine result considering the players they were missing. One wonders how much Rovers will fancy a sold-out Brandywell.

The bet of the weekend is Galway to beat Cobh, even if United's main two strikers are injured. They are a much better-resourced team than the visitors and should be comfortable victors.

St Patrick's and Bohemians face off in what should be a cracker in Inchicore. Bohs are playing some smashing football at the moment and make some appeal at the prices, especially as the Saints are not scoring enough goals despite all their offensive quality.

Cork-Dundalk draw
1pt 11-5 bet365
Derry draw no bet
3pts 4-5 bet365
1pt 16-5 Betfair, BoyleSports, Paddy Power
4pts 8-11 BoyleSports

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Dundalk go into the game in better form, with Cork far from impressive of late but nevertheless winning games and giving few chances away.
E.W. Terms
Sky bet