Kerry welcome Armagh to Tralee for the second round of the Allianz National Football League this Saturday night(7.00). The home side defeated All-Ireland champions Dublin last weekend and are now favourites to take the league title this season.
Interestingly, on the last two occasions that Kerry were beaten in September, they came out and won the league the following year. It is a clear statement of intent from Jack O’Connors side, and they are likely to prove hard to beat in this campaign. Many pundits felt that Dublin would have the edge on the Kingdom last Saturday, having played in the O’Byrne Cup competition. Kerry had no competitive games since the All-Ireland defeat but were clearly in good heart. Indeed they could have beaten the Dubs a little easier but for some very wasteful shooting. At odds of 1/9 they are raging hot favourites to overcome Armagh this weekend and make it two from two.
Armagh have been struggling in the top tier in recent seasons and spent some time in Division Two before being promoted again. With Crossmaglen still involved in the club championship, the county side are missing a number of players. However,that did not prevent them from securing a draw against Cork in the opening round of the league. The point gained will have lifted the spirits of the young Orchard County side and they will be confident heading down to Tralee. However, Kerry are very difficult to beat on their home turf and don’t drop many points in the league.
At the prices, few will get rich betting on the home side to win. At the same time it is difficult to envisage anything other than a comfortable victory for Kerry. At 10/11 in the handicap with Boylesports, giving up six points, Jack O’Connors men may just have enough to cover that deficit. Much will depend on Bryan Sheehan and the Kerry forwards, who will need to have learned from last weekend and brought their shooting boots with them.