Ballymena United vs Carrick Rangers: Preview and Prediction

Carrick Rangers have taken just one point from their last three Northern Ireland. IFA Premiership matches, following last weekend’s 3-1 defeat away to their opponent. Carrick Rangers are still seventh overall in the table, but the distance between them and the Continental qualification positions is slowly getting bigger. Saturday’s match at home to reigning champions Ballymena United should prove no easy feat either – Carrick Rangers haven’t won against any Northern Ireland. IFA Premiership leader since September 2008 and, notably, are without a win against any side currently within the top eight so far this season.

Ballymena United have turned around their “unconvincing” run in style over the past 7 days. Ballymena United dominated and humiliated their opponent with a 8-0 win at home last weekend, which also saw their striker net his first hat-trick of 2017, to become the Northern Ireland. IFA Premiership’s joint top scorer (19 goals) in the process, before easing their way through to the semi-finals of the national cup at home to opponent during the week (3-0 win).

Ballymena United are clear favourites here at 4/9 with bet365, but we feel that backing “both teams to score” at 21/20 has some decent potential for the following reasons:

Most people know about Ballymena United and their striker, and for good reason too. He is a world class striker and currently in top form, with seven goals from his last four competitive outings. He’s also scored three goals in Ballymena United’s last four on the road so you’d fancy him to continue this run as an anytime goalscorer at 4/7 with bet365. However, Carrick Rangers are not without a weapon of their own in French striker.Not to mention that he scored against the visitors earlier this season when Carrick Rangers took a point away from Ballymena United (1-1 draw).

Notably, Ballymena United’s recent domination has in fact come from matches at home. Ballymena United have failed to keep a clean sheet in three of their last four Northern Ireland. IFA Premiership away matches, including against some much weaker teams than Carrick Rangers, and the added strain following their mid-week national cup match, where the league leaders fielded a full strength squad, should add even more value to Carrick Rangers getting one against them.

Regarding a correct score bet, though Carrick Rangers are unbeaten at home this season (W5 D5), Ballymena United hold the best away record in the Northern Ireland. IFA Premiership (W8 D2 L1). Carrick Rangers’s poor track record against much stronger sides, combined with Ballymena United’s return to goal-scoring form, means we feel the Ballymena Unitedns could sneak another win here. As such, we feel there’s decent value to be had backing a 2-1 Ballymena United win at 15/2 with bet365.

Ballymena United vs Carrick Rangers: Preview and Prediction

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