At 4pm on Sunday, Ulster champions Donegal and 36-time All-Ireland winners Kerry meet for, unbelievably, the first ever time in the championship.
For many neutrals, the meeting of these two in-form sides is the most eagerly anticipated of all the quarter-final clashes this weekend.
Donegal, for many, have been the best team in the championship so far this year, and according to Donegal forward Leo McLoone “A lot of teams have been working on ways to stop our play and we were definitely underdogs (more often) last year.”
“Maybe teams are watching out for us that bit more after winning Ulster last year. This year we will be under that bit more pressure.
“Our main goal at the start of the year was to retain the Ulster Championship and we have done that. I suppose you always want more when you are winning and of course we want to win every game from now on but that won’t be easy.
Kerry boss Jack O’Connor reckons Donegal will be a huge test for the Kingdom,”(Jim) McGuinness (Donegal manager) has a fantastic system going there. They’re an absolutely serious team, within a kick of a ball of getting to a final last year,” he said.
“It’s a great challenge for us this week to plan our strategy for them. They have certainly moved the goalposts as regards strategy.”
O’Connor says that he is not expecting a lot of open football on Sunday but Kerry will be trying hard “We are not expecting a pile of pretty football in Croke Park and we will be doing our best to keep it open as much as we can. In their semi-final game last year, they played Gaelic football like we have never seen it before. That is a massive challenge for us as coaches, management and players to try and break that down” explained the Kerry boss.
Kerry have named an unchanged team for the game, while Donegal are expected to do likewise, with key defender Karl Lacey set to start after there were some concerns that he might not be able to make it.
Kerry: B Kealy; M Ó Sé, A O’Mahony, S Enright; T Ó Sé, E Brosnan, K Young; A Maher, B Sheehan; P Galvin, Declan O’Sullivan, D Walsh; J O’Donoghue, C Cooper, K Donaghy.