Derry City close in on league title favourites tag as Shamrock Rovers no longer considered 'bulletproof'

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Derry City are being well backed to dethrone Premier Division champions Shamrock Rovers ahead of their home clash with Shelbourne on Friday.

Punters are anticipating a huge title tussle this term as the Candy Stripes were clipped into 13/8 from 2/1 with BoyleSports after 18 games, even though they missed an opportunity to go four points clear of the defending champions at the weekend when they went down to a 1-0 defeat at Sligo Rovers.

But Ruaidhri Higgins’ side are odds-on to bounce back with a crucial three points at home to the Shels, while Shamrock Rovers go into their clash with Dundalk in Tallaght without Richie Towell after they failed with an appeal against the red card he received in the 1-0 defeat to Cork City at Turner’s Cross last week.

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Former Lilywhite Sean Hoare and Johnny Kenny will also miss the live televised game on Friday after seeing red cards for two bookable offences against Cork, meaning the hosts have been eased slightly to 4/11 from 2/7 to bounce back from two straight defeats.

That has left them one point behind Derry City at the top of the table and they have now drifted to 5/6 from 1/2 in their bid for a fourth consecutive league title, while Bohemians are out to 12/1 from a low of 9/2 as they seek to halt a four match winless streak at home to Sligo Rovers on Friday.

Lawrence Lyons, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: “Punters don’t think Shamrock Rovers are as bulletproof as they have been in recent seasons and one more slip up could well see Derry City go favourites if they keep the momentum going.”

Derry look to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat as they face into a tough double header of fixtures at home to Shels on Friday and four days later a trip to Inchicore to take on a resurgent St Patrick’s Athletic.

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Premier Division outright odds: 5/6 Shamrock Rovers; 13/8 Derry City; 12/1 Bohemians; 12/1 St Pat’s Athletic; 25/1 Dundalk; 25/1 Shelbourne

Match Betting; Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk: 4/11 Shamrock Rovers, 7/2 Draw; 13/2 Dundalk: Derry City v Shelbourne: 8/13 Derry City, 12/5 Draw, 9/2 Shelbourne.