While they did indeed finish in an excellent second place last season., over the last few years the team has had a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde feel about it, excelling one week, struggling to etch out a result the next.
Failing to beat Bohemians and in fact losing three out the four Dublin Derbies last season is testament to this fact.
The signing of the much coveted Liam Scales from UCD will boost a side already bursting at the seams with top-drawer talent.
Jack Byrne, Ronan Finn and Graham Burke were key to their sides second place finish and FAI Cup victory last term.
With Dundalk losing some of their key players from last season, the battle for top spot could well go down to the wire come October.
There is a lot more than just three points at stake for the Hoops as they travel to Dalymount Park on February 15th
Having failed to beat Bohemians in the league last season, and only picking up one point of a possible 12 against their deadly rivals, their fans will be praying they finally end their hoodoo and regain the bragging rights.
The result really is too close to call.
MATCH PREDICTION: 2-1 WIN FOR BOHS
If manager Stephen Bradley can get his tactics right on more nights than he did last season, the Hoops will be genuine title contenders come October.
The newly promoted side have seriously signalled their intent with some of their close-season singings as they mark their first season in the top flight since they were relegated from the Premier Division in 2013.
Karl Sheppard from Cork City, Gary Deegan from Cambridge United along with George Poynton’s arrival from Waterford should ensure they can give a good account of themselves whatever the opposition.
A trip to Turners Cross awaits the Reds, and they will be hoping Cork’s indifferent form continues as they seek to being life back in the Premier Division on a high note.
MATCH PREDICTION: 1-1 DRAW
If they continue to play with the same panache as they did last season and with the new signings to boot, our money is on Shelbourne finishing mid-table this season.
The Bit o’ Red finished in mid table last season and with an astute a manager as Liam Buckley in the hot-seat, will be hoping to challenge for Europe this season.
Romeo Parkes return to the US is a blow, but Finnish Left-Back Teemu Penninkangas –whom they signed from FC Lahti in his homeland - looks like a shrewd capture.
On the opening day of the campaign. The Sligo team’s bus will be making the 90 minute-trip to Ballybofey for the North-West Derby against Finn Harps.
These games are always keenly contested, and those who turn up on the night can expect lots of thrills and spills as both sides seek the grab the bragging rights on the night.
PREDICTION: 1-0 WIN FOR FINN HARPS
Mid-Table mediocrity once more awaits the Bit o’ Red, but if they are not careful they could find themselves in a relegation scrap.
It certainly was a season where the action off the field was, some might say more enthralling than that on it for the South-East side.
Thankfully club owner Lee Power has seemingly managed to iron out the problems that had had occurred over last season and fans of the Deise side will be hoping they can cause a surprise next year and once more earn a European spot come October.
While the loss of J.J. Lunney, who has returned to Bohemians, the arrival of Sam Allardice who came in the opposite direction, with his battling qualities is a good capture for the Regional Sports Ground based club.
The capture of striker Graham Cummins was a notable one and has boosted the sides attacking options.
The men in blue face a tricky start when they travel to Dublin to Face Saint Patrick’s Athletic.
The Inchicore side has strengthened their side considerably in the off-season and we feel will be too hot for Waterford to handle.
MATCH PREDICTION: COMFORTABLE 3-0 WIN FOR ST. PAT'S
Like in previous seasons, the expectation is that the team from the Deise to once again be formidable at home, but a totally different kettle of fish on the road. Thus we expect another season of mid-table mediocrity for the Lee Power’s side.
Last but more definitely not least we move onto the surprise packet of the 2019 season, Bohemians. The club is on a high after clinching a European spot and moving another step closer to building a brand new state of the art stadium, to be built on the site of the current Dalymount Park.
They caused quite a surprise when they managed an unexpected (by most pundits and fans of other clubs) third place finish last season, remaining unbeaten in the league against Shamrock Rovers in the process.
DAN CASEY’s RETURN FROM CORK CITY and JJ Lunney’s return after a year with Waterford United has the Gypsies supporters believing they can at least reclaim third spot this season.
The signing of Canadian International winger Kris Twardeck has boosted the options on the wing.
With the return of high scoring striker Dinny Corcoran (who was a contestant on Channel 4’s Countdown) from injury, some of the Dalymount faithful are dreaming of uttering a nine letter word come November – Champions.
As baptism’s of fire go, the opening match does not get hotter than this, as arch rivals Shamrock rovers make the trek across the Liffey in the Dublin Derby.
Last year the league matches between both sides were enthralling close-knot affairs, and we expect it to be no different on Saturday February 15th
MATCH PREDICTION: 2-1 WIN FOR BOHS
With the talent at the disposal of Saint Patrick’s Athletic, Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers, it is going to be very tough at the top for the Gypsises. Keith long’s men will have to be at their very best all season long if they are to repeat last years.