The Allianz Football League rolls into Round Two this weekend with it all to play for as teams up and down the country look to improve upon their opening day outings.
For some teams, this weekend will be about building upon the early momentum gained in Round One, whilst for others, this weekend represents damage control.
Whilst losing your first two games doesn’t necessarily mean relegation, with the games coming thick and fast, week after week, two losses in a row can easily lead to three, then four and so on…
Here are Pundit Arena’s headliner games across each of the four divisions this weekend.
Division One – Tyrone v Mayo
The pick of the games on show this weekend.
Tyrone will be looking to bounce back from a lacklustre performance in Killarney last weekend where they fell to a four-point defeat against Kerry.
Mayo travel north in high spirits following their win over Connacht rivals Roscommon last Saturday. Whilst we can’t read too much into last weeks win given the horrendous conditions in Castlebar, it is fair to say that Mayo were second best for much of the game and James Horan will have been happy that they ground out a victory.
For Mayo, a win in Omagh will be a huge statement of intent, the last few seasons have saw them struggle in the league, but if they win this weekend it’s hard to not see them involved at the business end of the campaign.
Division Two – Cork v Kildare
Two counties who probably feel that they should be playing in Division One.
Kildare had a dreadful league campaign last season losing all seven games, whilst Cork never looked like gaining promotion out of the second-tier. With both teams languishing in Division Two desperate to make the jump back up, Sunday’s game represents a chance to get their respective campaign’s back on track following opening day draws.
It’s always hard to back against Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, but with many tipping the Rebels for relegation whilst Kildare begin to blood in a crop of All-Ireland U20 winners, it’s difficult to not see Cian O’Neill’s men taking a big scalp in Munster.
Division Three – Westmeath v Carlow
Two sides with impressive opening day wins.
Carlow were the talk of the town last year when they secured promotion for the first time in 34 years, they backed that successful league campaign up with an extended championship run. Last weekend they got life in Division Three off to the perfect start with a seven-point victory over Sligo.
Westmeath also had a fantastic win last weekend coming from eight points down in the second half to pip rivals Offaly by a single point in O’Connor Park.
Promotion is very much an achievable goal for both these sides, and whoever comes out on top on Sunday will take some stopping.
Division Four – Wicklow v Leitrim
Aughrim is traditionally a tough place to go and win. However, Wicklow aren’t at the heights they were a few years previously and finished bottom of this division last season.
Leitrim, on the other hand, seem to be riding on the crest of a wave since Terry Hyland took over. It started by running Mayo close in the FBD League, and they followed that up with a huge winning margin over Wexford last weekend.
With many people tipping the Shannonsiders for promotion this year, a win in Aughrim tomorrow will leave them in good stead with the visit of Limerick next Sunday.