Shelbourne v Leeds United, Pre-season friendly, July 14, 2009
With betting markets now available on transfers, it will come as no surprise that the bookies also provide odds on pre-season friendlies. Early on in the summer it is clear to see that these games donâ€™t always go the way of the favourites and there is money to be won.
Tomorrow night Leeds begin their tour of Ireland with a match against Shelbourne just two days after a thrilling 3-3 draw with York City (highlights here). The odds look particularly attractive when a number of factors are taken into consideration.
Shelbourne are currently top of the Eircom league, after being demoted from the Irish Premier League due to financial problems, and at the beginning of the month scored seven against Mervue United. Against their more illustrious opponents they should be fitter as they are midway through their season, which began in March.
Being one of the major clubs, Shelbourne also have big support and there is likely to be a good crowd in to cheer the home team. Despite Leedsâ€™ current lowly league position, all teams are up for playing them and they are not in the best of shape right now.
Leeds have confirmed that both Jermaine Beckford and Fabian Delph (pictured)Â will play but with heavy speculation about both playersâ€™ futures, this could be a hindrance rather than a help. Shelbourne will be playing some trialists, including a â€œ6â€™2 striker from Latviaâ€ who their website fails to name but could well cause problems for the Leeds defence.
The odds on the home team winning look mighty attractive and a draw is a fair possibility when one considers how York scored two goals in injury-time on Sunday. Leeds manager Simon Grayson is unlikely to be bothered by the result but the bookies might be.
101gg predicts: Shelbourne 2 â€“ Leeds 1