Kerry host Donegal in Division One of the Allianz National Football League at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney this Sunday(2.30).
The home side got their campaign back on track last weekend,after a slip up against Armagh,and will be hoping to continue with winning ways here. However, they are unlikely to have it all their own way from a Donegal side that is slowly beginning to find form.
The Northern side were surprise winners over current league champions Cork, last weekend and were full value for their win.Michael Murphy returned to his county colours and scored 1-3. The full forward had been absent for the earlier rounds and now that he has regained full fitness he will be a handful for opposing defences from here on in. Kerry have shown that they are vulnerable at the back in recent times and Jack O’Connor will have been hoping that Donegal were travelling without their talisman. The Kingdom will be missing their own star man for this tie, as Colm Cooper has decided to take a short break, having just completed a long club championship campaign with Dr Crokes.
Kerry made an excellent start to the season with a convincing victory over Dublin in Croke Park. However, the wheels came off the wagon when they were shocked by Armagh down in Tralee on their next outing. O’Connor vented his frustration at his sides lack of effort in that game and he was rewarded when the men in green and gold easily defeated Down last weekend. Bryan Sheehan and Declan O’Sullivan were in fine form for Kerry, while Barry John Keane again showed up well and will be hoping to stake a claim for regular inclusion this season.
Bookmakers have it about right, at 1/3 Kerry, 3/1 Donegal.However, the northern side play a style of football that Kerry have always struggled against and if they can stop the home side from passing the ball and getting into a rhythm then they could make it tough. At evens on the handicap with a four point start, Donegal are the recommended bet.