Over the last few years Meath v Kildare has developed into one of the more compelling rivalries in Leinster football and that will be expected to continue at Páirc Tailteann on Saturday evening.
Things got so heated last time out that opposing mangers Seamus McEnaney and Kieran McGeeney had to be separated after a post game confrontation that the Meath chief has since described as “bellytickling”.
Kildare emerged victorious on that day but it is the Royals who have made the better start disposing of Monaghan by six points on the opening weekend and following that up with a demolition of Westmeath in the last round.
Meanwhile Kildare have made a less auspicious start, struggling to losses against Tyrone and Monaghan, McGeeney’s side have struggled to losses in their opening couple of games leaking an average of 1-14 and desperately need a win to get their campaign back on track.
The Kildare manager will have welcomed the break as it afforded his side some time to regroup and a victory over Kerry in a challenge game last weekend may give them the boost they need going into this fixture.
Another boost for them comes in the form of a slew of injuries to the Meath line up. Dangerman Graham Reilly who has been on top form since early season will miss out while Joe Sheridan and Kevin Reilly are major doubts.
Others will be needed to pick up Reilly’s slack against this relatively porous Kildare defence or the Royals may struggle to make it three on the spin