Preview: Drogheda United vs. St Patrick’s Athletic

Preview: Drogheda United vs. St Patrick’s Athletic

St Patrick’s Athletic will go in search of a fifth successive victory when they face struggling Drogheda United at United Park on Friday night.

The hosts find themselves second from bottom in the League of Ireland Premier Division table following back-to-back defeats, while the visitors are flying high in third place

Drogheda United head into Friday’s clash on the back of a 3-2 defeat at Shelbourne, despite the best efforts of 18-year-old striker Freddie Draper, who bagged a brace on Monday to net his second double in three matches.

Draper has now scored eight of Drogheda’s 18 league goals this season, with seven goals coming in his last eight appearances, although the Claret and Blue Army remain the second-lowest scorers in the division.

Not only have Drogheda lost each of their last two games, but they have also lost four of their previous six, with a 3-0 defeat at St Patrick’s Athletic coming less than a month ago.

When you look at the bigger picture, Kevin Doherty’s men have managed to win just two of their last 11 league outings, recording two draws and seven losses to remain second from bottom in the standings.

Having won only two of their nine home league games this season – scoring a measly seven goals in the process – the Drogs possess the second-worst home record in the division, so they will be desperate to pick up a positive result on Friday.

At the opposite end of the table, St Patrick’s Athletic find themselves third – 15 points above Drogheda and four points shy of first-placed Shamrock Rovers – having won 11 of their 20 matches this season.

Following a shaky start to the season, the Dublin outfit have upped their game in recent months, notching 10 victories in 14 league outings to cement their place in the top three and remain in the hunt for European football.

Despite seeing just 39% possession on home soil, Jon Daly’s men claimed a hugely impressive 4-1 victory over second-placed Derry City last time out, racking up 19 shots while limiting Derry to a solitary attempt on target.

The Saints have now won each of their last four matches, with victories over Shelbourne, Dundalk and University College Dublin preceding Monday’s thrashing of Derry City, and they have also won six of their previous seven league outings.

Having won three of their last four away league games – and five of their previous seven – St Patrick’s Athletic will back themselves to notch another road victory at the expense of off-form Drogheda United.

Drogheda United League of Ireland Premier form:

St Patrick’s Athletic League of Ireland Premier form:

We say: Drogheda United 0-2 St Patrick’s Athletic
While St Patrick’s Athletic have won each of their last four matches – scoring 10 goals along the way – Drogheda United have lost four of their previous six encounters.

With that in mind, we expect the visitors to notch a fourth victory in five away games, while the Saints are also on course to keep a clean sheet against the low-scoring Drogs.

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