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Football opening day predictions for League of Ireland 2021

March 19th, 2021

The new season (2021) is just about to get underway for the League of Ireland and unfortunately I’m not quite ready with the full league table predictions, but I have got an early version of match prediction analysis software in place (details to follow at a later date) and so I’m going to take a quick look at my local team Waterford FC first and see what we have in store in this first league game against Drogheda United.

What a first match to pick, Waterford and Drogheda haven’t played against each other in the LOI Premier League since July 2007, a 3-0 home win for Drogheda, and with all of my data so far going back to 2012, I’m left a little stumped with having to go on to predict this one. There’s just a model of the home / away goal scoring rates in the LOI since 2012, so in using this the result pops out as:

The Probability of a Home win for Drogheda is 30%
The Probability of an Away win for Waterford is 45%
The Probability of a Draw between Drogheda and Waterford is 25%

Okay an away win for Waterford (maybe), let’s see what happens.

By the way it wasn’t that easy to find a dated version of LOI results from way back when, Whoscored ended up being the best source, with an honourable mention for Goal.

As for the other matches here are the predictions for the opening day

Shamrock Rovers (50%) vs St. Patricks (23%)
Draw (27%)

Finn Harps (24%) vs Bohemians (47%)
Draw (29%)

Longford Town (22%) vs Derry City (53%)
Draw (25%)

Sligo Rovers (24%) vs Dundalk (50%)
Draw (26%)

So wins for Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians, Derry City, Dundalk and Waterford FC for this opening day, let’s see how it pans out.