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Preview of this weekend’s Gaelic football action, as Dublin aim for ninth successive win

We look ahead to the 15 Gaelic football games happening this weekend.

This weekend’s Gaelic football action should be excellent, with a lot of fantastic games in store. Dublin are going for their ninth consecutive victory between league and championship, though David Clifford and Kerry will hope to put an end to that run.

There will be six Gaelic football matches televised over the course of the weekend.

SATURDAY.

Allianz Football League Division 1 North

Donegal vs Monaghan, MacCumhail Park, Ballybofey, 5pm (Barry Cassidy, Derry), RTE and Eir Sport

Donegal looked very impressive when winning away to Tyrone last weekend, while a youthful, inexperienced Monaghan side were very much second best against Armagh. Michael Murphy was once again outstanding for Declan Bonner’s side.

Donegal will be very disappointed if they don’t pick up their second win in as many weekends and put themselves in a great position to reach the semi-finals.
Verdict: Donegal

Fierce Gaelic football rivals Armagh and Tyrone to meet this weekend.

Armagh vs Tyrone, Athletic Grounds, Armagh, 7pm (David Gough, Meath), Eir Sport

This is one of the great GAA rivalries. Both sides certainly do not like each other. From 2002-2005, these were two of the best sides in the business and used to meet regularly in classics.

Armagh had a great win against Monaghan last weekend and Kieran McGeeney’s side can all but secure their survival if they win this game. Tyrone did not look terrible against Donegal and they played a large part of the second half with 14 men.

Tyrone have lost three of their last four games, though they should bounce back to winning ways here.

Verdict: Tyrone

Mayo will look to build on their fantastic display against Down.

Division 2 North

Westmeath vs Mayo, TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar, 3pm (Noel Mooney, Cavan), Eir Sport

Westmeath were in a great position to beat Meath last Sunday, though Jack Cooney’s side threw the game away and lost by a point. Mayo looked very sharp and slick against Down and a win here against Westmeath will put them in a promotion play-off, whilst subjecting Westmeath to a relegation decider.

Mayo should have enough for the hosts.

Verdict: Mayo

Cork hoping to return to form against Laois.

Division 2 South

Laois vs Cork, O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, 7pm (Barry Judge, Sligo), GAAGO

Two teams who will be bitterly disappointed with last week’s performances. Cork looked flat against Kildare and were outclassed while Laois were second best away to Clare.

The loser of this encounter is in a relegation play-off, while the winner is back in promotion contention. Cork would see themselves as a level above Laois, in terms of their football development and Ronan McCarthy’s side should do enough to win

Verdict: Cork

Division 3 South

Offaly vs Limerick, O’Connor Park, Tullamore, 3pm (John Gilmartin, Sligo), GAAGO

Both of these sides had great wins last weekend. Division two football would be a dream for either of them, though the winner of this tie will be one game away from it if they can.

John Maughan and Billy Lee are both serious Gaelic football men who live for the game, though Offaly might just have enough to edge it.

Verdict: Offaly

Munster champions need a win badly.

Tipperary vs Wicklow, Semple Stadium, Thurles, 4:30pm (Seamus Mulvihill, Kerry), GAAGO

Tipperary have an injury crisis at the moment and it contributed big-time to their defeat against Limerick. David Power has often stressed the importance of the league and he is not one to make excuses.

David Burke has done great work with Wicklow in getting them promoted in 2020, though Tipperary should be too strong for them.

Verdict: Tipperary

Division 3 North

Derry vs Fermanagh, Owenbeg, Derry, 5pm (Paul Faloon, Down), GAAGO

Both of these sides looked sharp in their opening games. Derry eased to a 16 point win against Longford, while Fermanagh’s awful 2020 campaign was put behind them, as they defeated local rivals Cavan.

Sean Quigley is a huge addition to the Fermanagh ranks, but Derry are a very good team. They have serious fire-power within their squad and they should keep up their good form on Saturday.

Verdict: Derry

Ulster champions hoping to avoid successive defeats.

Cavan vs Longford, Breffni Park, Cavan, 7pm (Cormac Reilly, Meath), GAAGO
Reigning Ulster champions Cavan would have been very disappointed on Saturday night. They were outclassed against Fermanagh. Longford were very poor when they lost out to Derry. Cavan should do enough to defeat them this weekend and extend further misery on their local rivals.
Verdict: Cavan

Division 4 South

Wexford vs Waterford, Chadwicks Wexford Park, Wexford, 3pm (John Hickey, Carlow), GAAGO

Waterford suffered a heavy defeat against Carlow last weekend and morale in the camp is sure to be very low. They’ve won just one of their last 12 encounters.

Wexford narrowly missed out on promotion in 2020 and will fancy their chances of picking up a win this weekend, which will put them in the league’s semi-finals.

Verdict: Wexford

Kerry hoping to deny Dublin their ninth consecutive win.

SUNDAY

Division 1 South

Dublin vs Kerry, Semple Stadium, Thurles, 1:45pm (Sean Hurson, Tyrone), TG4

This should be a brilliant encounter. These two sides play superb, attacking, attractive football. You’re looking at the greatest team of all time facing the side hoping to overtake them.

Kerry are a joy to watch. David Clifford is a magical footballer. He has the potential to be the best player of all time. He could win Kerry an endless amount of All-Ireland’s. Dublin are machine like as well, with Brian Fenton in midfield an exceptional player.

Clifford and Kerry have to win one All-Ireland to prove themselves though. It’s the one title that the Fossa star hasn’t got on his CV. This will be a classic. Kerry to shade it.

Verdict: Kerry

Galway must improve or relegation beckons.

Galway vs Roscommon, Pearse Stadium, Galway, 2pm (David Coldrick, Meath), GAAGO

Roscommon went down with dignity after a credible performance last weekend against Dublin. Galway were awful against Kerry and suffered a 21-point beating.

This is a very tough game for Galway to bounce back with. It’s very likely that both of these sides will be in a relegation play-off. Roscommon might pick up a victory here.

Verdict: Roscommon

Division 2 South

Kildare vs Clare, St. Conleths Park, Newbridge, 2pm (Fergal Kelly, Longford), GAAGO

Jack O’Connor was brought into Kildare to make them return to division one and make them a championship force. They failed on both of those fronts last year. He’s still a good manager though and Kildare have some serious talent. It’s about time they started winning regularly.

Colm Collins has done a fantastic job with Clare since taking over. He would love to get them to division one and if he wins this game, they will be a step closer to their target. Kildare have won five of their last six games and should do enough again on Sunday.

Verdict: Kildare

Division 2 North

Down vs Meath, Athletic Grounds, Armagh, 3:45pm (Niall Cullen, Fermanagh), GAAGO

Meath stole a victory against Westmeath despite trailing for a large part of the match. Never giving up and stealing wins was a key feature of the Meath DNA for years and years, though the opposite has occurred in recent years.

Down would have been disappointed with their performance against a very strong Mayo unit, but if Paddy Tally’s men win this their campaign is back on track.

Meath may win, but the margin of victory will be very narrow.

Verdict: Meath

Gaelic football icon Harte hoping for better luck against Leitrim this weekend.

Division 4 North

Leitrim vs Louth, Avant Money Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada, Carrick-on-Shannon, 3pm, (Patrick Maguire, Longford), GAAGO

Mickey Harte’s Louth debut did not end well, as they lost to Antrim by a point. If they lose to Leitrim their promotion dreams are over and that is the Wee County’s main goal for the year.

Leitrim are in the exact same boat. There’s a lot riding on this encounter. Harte and Louth might just do enough.

Verdict: Louth

Antrim vs Sligo, Corrigan Park, Belfast, 4pm (Conor Dourneen, Cavan), GAAGO

Sligo’s recent record against Antrim is very good. Tony McEntee’s record as a coach/manager is also strong. Enda McGinley’s Antrim side would have been thrilled with the result against Louth and Sligo would also have been very pleased with their victory over Leitrim.

This will be a very close game. Sligo may edge it.

Verdict: Sligo

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