Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.
While many leagues in Europe are approaching crunch time, the League of Ireland is just about to get underway.
The Irish top flight is a staple of our summer football coverage and we’ll have plenty of focus on it over on our Irish Premier Division predictions page.
But first, we’re taking a look at the outright markets ahead of the start of the season. We have 11/10, 6/1 and 14/1 tips on the campaign below.
League of Ireland Outright Predictions
Winner – St Pat’s Athletic at 6/1
Shamrock Rovers are odds-on for the title as they look to win this division for the third straight season, but there should be a fight for the title this term. Derry City have improved under Ruaidhri Higgins, but it’s another contender who we are looking at this term.
St Patrick’s Athletic have added real quality up front by bringing Eoin Doyle back from across the water. The former Bolton forward was key in their League Two promotion push a year ago and he’s likely to be a difference-maker at this level.
The Saints went blow-for-blow with Rovers in the President’s Cup final on Friday suggesting they can improve on last season’s second-placed finish. The main thing they missed last term was a proven goalscorer and it’s fair to say that they haven’t held back in fixing that problem.
Doyle’s impact should mark out St Pat’s as contenders, but at 6/1 they are a value pick to take the crown. If their new forward clicks and the side can match last season’s consistency, then expect that price to fall.
Having finished second last term, they’re also a great bet to be best of the rest if Rovers take another title.
To finish bottom – UCD at 11/10
The battle at the bottom will likely feature UCD, Drogheda and Finn Harps, with at least one side dropping out of the top-flight. Shelbourne have signed well since gaining promotion and they are likely to kick-on under boss Damien Duff, leaving some sides sweating.
Finn Harps have made survival a habit in recent years and that should continue this term. However, UCD are the side to fear for. They were promoted from the second tier in the playoffs, but they finished some way shy of the top two in the end. Having conceded more goals in the First Division than any other top-six side, their defence should let them down at this level.
Top Scorer – Promise Omochere at 14/1
While Bohemians aren’t expected to push for top spot this season, they remain one of the league’s most creative sides. They had the top scorer in the league last term in Georgie Kelly, but his departure to Rotherham left a gap in attack.
Omochere is his replacement up top and he’s likely to pick up where Kelly left off. At 14/1 he’s a big price to finish up as the top scorer this season. While former Bolton man Eoin Doyle offers serious competition, we’re going with the Bohs’ frontman at a great price.
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