Gaelic Football Tips – Dublin Ahead Of Kerry In Race For Sam
In this post Diarmuid Connolly offers his gaelic football tips and analysis ahead of this weekend’s All-Ireland knockout action.
Dublin Ahead Of Kerry In All-Ireland Race
I certainly wouldn’t say Kerry have started to click yet. They put up a big score at the weekend against Louth, but they certainly haven’t been convincing, neither in the league or in the championship.
I said it before the championship, if Dublin can keep their squad fit and get some of the guys back top of the ground, they can put teams to the sword in a couple of minutes. Colm Basquel has been a find this year. Con Callaghan got 1-05 against Sligo, Paddy Small is back playing and got five points. Paul Mannion came on and scored points, Ciaran Kilkenny’s playing well again and so is Sean Bugler, and we didn’t see Cormac Costello. These guys are all fighting for six places. So there’s going to be guys that Dublin can bring off the bench.
I’d like Brian Howard to play in midfield with Brian Fenton. Where Dublin need to strengthen is with a little bit of cover in that area. I know they are joint favourites for the championship, but…
Dublin are certainly ahead of Kerry at the moment in my book.
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Mayo ‘Not Good Enough’
It was a huge result for Cork against Mayo. It’s going to require a huge turnaround for Mayo now, because I think Galway are the form team and they maybe got a shot in the arm losing to Armagh at the weekend.
It seems Mayo just cannot deal with this type of defensive system. They had three scores from play at the weekend, which is just not good enough. Everyone had them as favourites to come top of this group after beating Kerry so convincingly down in Killarney, but now they have an away game against Galway coming up and I don’t think I could fancy them.
Mayo v Galway Preview
There are no backup chances now, it’s do or die. Galway and Mayo know each other inside out, but the margin between them is never big so this is going to be a tight affair.
Matthew Tierney has been great for this Galway side, but he’s also got serious talent around him in Shane Walsh and Damien Comer, although there is an injury worry with Comer.
Another big injury worry would be Sean Kelly. He nearly dragged Galway back into the game against Armagh on his own and he’d be a big loss. But I do fancy Galway here. Mayo beat the All-Ireland champions, but went out in the next two games and didn’t perform at all. We know where they have been struggling and it’s against a blanket defence, so there’s a big decision to make for Padraic Joyce. Do they set up a little bit differently and try to hit them on the counter attack?
I think if they go all out one v one, Mayo can cause serious chaos and that’s exactly what Mayo want. So if I was Padraic Joyce, I’d be trying to control this game and try to beat him down the stretch using guys off the bench.
For a full preview of this game check out our Galway v Mayo prediction post.
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Don’t Sleep On Kildare
I wouldn’t be sleeping in on this Kildare side now. If they can hit form, they’ve got firepower up front.
Guys like Kevin Feely, Neil Flynn and Daniel Flynn would get into most teams in the country and that says a lot about these guys. They’re very athletic and two of them were in Australia playing Aussie Rules, so they know how to play football.
They put it up to Roscommon and Kevin Feely deserves a call out for that mark and catch and the one off his left foot to win it. The guy had played 70-odd minutes at midfield and with no angle, curls it over the bar to win the game. It was the clutch moment of the weekend – what a score and what a result for Kildare. It means they have a home draw now and it looks positive for them.
I had been very impressed with Roscommon. But they’ve been on the road a long time and played a lot of tough games this year. So maybe it’s just a little bit of jet lag for them and they have to go back to the drawing board.
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Warning For Red Hand
I don’t think Donegal are as bad as what they’re made out to be. It is a traditional football county, always competing for Ulster. The club scene is very, very competitive as well.
They have found a real a player for me in Oisin Gallen. We know about the Paddy McBreartys and the Jamie Brennans, but they young lads coming into this side. I think they’ll cause Tyrone a lot of trouble. A lot of people have Tyrone as heavy favourites going into this game, but I think Donegal are waiting in the long grass.
Donegal v Tyrone Preview
I think Tyrone took their eye off the ball a bit against Westmeath thinking they could go down and roll them over. I don’t think they envisaged a draw and then having to travel to Ballybofey.
But we just don’t know what we’re going to get from Donegal. They are starting to build a little bit, Paddy McBrearty is back fit and Oisin Gallen has been playing well. I’d love to see Gallen come up against Padraig Hampsey, who is probably Tyrone’s key man-marker inside. If Oisin gets the better of Hampsey, then Donegal have a great chance, but I don’t see that happening.
Peter Harte and Conor Meyler can run the half-back line and Conn Kilpatrick has been the stand-out midfielder for this Tyrone side all year for me. He is the guy driving them forward. He has a great work rate and has been chipping in with a few scores.
Darragh Canavan has been playing out of his skin too. He is low to the ground and is a guy who will take you on one-on-one inside, so Tyrone look good value for the win.
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