Kerry return to Championship action after a four week break against familiar opponents in the shape of Limerick with a place in the All Ireland semi final at stake.
When the sides met in the semi final of the Munster Championship Kerry ran out 11 points winners despite conceding three goals to Limerick. Colm Cooper (0-7), Darran O’Sullivan (1-3) and Declan O’Sullivan (0-4) all impressed that day for the Kingdom who led by 12 points after 30 minutes.
Kerry have only played one game since, the exciting Munster final against Cork while Limerick have grown in stature in the qualifiers impressing in win’s over Offaly and Waterford before a somewhat controversial injury time point win over Wexford over shadowed what had been a fine performance and comeback by the treaty county.
Limerick Football is on a high at the moment, and following from a first national league (Division four) title in 114 years earlier this year, they now find themselves in their first ever All Ireland quarter final.
However they will need to be at their very best to beat a Kerry team that have reached the All-Ireland quarter-finals every year since the new championship system was introduced in 2001, their only defeat coming at the hands of Down last year.
Horan will have to plan without Tommy Lee who is suspended after his sending off last weekend against Wexford although he will be able to call on the services of dual stars Stephen Lucey and Mark O’Riordan who return to the squad after the hurlers bowed out against Dublin last weekend.
Kerry meanwhile will be at full strength with Paul Galvin and Tomas O’Se is available again after injury and suspension.
Galvin returns to the half-forward line after recovering from the hamstring injury which saw him miss out on the Munster final victory while Ó Sé will be making only his second championship appearance of the summer after serving an eight-week ban for the red card he picked up in May’s win over Tipperary
Kerry showed their Jekyll and Hyde side in the Munster final win over Cork, a first half of brilliance followed by a nervous second 35 minutes. That said history is on the side of the Kingdom County having beaten Limerick in their last 4 clashes including the last year’s Munster final.
Kerry – B Kealy; K Young, M Ó Sé, T O’Sullivan; T Ó Sé, E Brosnan, A O’Mahony; A Maher, B Sheehan, P Galvin, Declan O’Sullivan, D Walsh, C Cooper, K Donaghy, Darran O’Sullivan.
Limerick – TBC