Dublin and Kerry meet in Croke Park this Saturday night (7.15pm) in a repeat of last September’s All-Ireland Football Final. This time, it’s the opening round of the Allianz National Football League and both sides will be keen to get their campaign off to a winning start.
The home side came from four points down to take the championship last time the teams clashed, but in truth it was a game that Kerry left behind on the day. While the Dublin team deserve great credit for battling back and taking the title, a side of Kerry’s experience should have closed the match out and went on to win. Bookmakers obviously hold the view that Kerry are the better side and have them as slight favourites for Saturday night. However, at this stage of the season, they may just be a little behind Dublin in the fitness stakes.
Pat Gilroy’s side have already seen action in the O’Byrne Cup and despite losing out to Kildare in the semi-final, they showed plenty of dash and the likes of Mossy Quinn and Bryan Cullen showed up well. Kerry have yet to play a competitive game this season and that is almost sure to count against them. The side do not play in the McGrath Cup and have had a long break since last September’s decider.
Many of the team have been playing in club competitions, but as a unit they have a long absence to overcome. The class of the side and scoring ability of their attack is never in doubt, but should Kerry win this weekend they will be serious contenders for league honours.
Saturday night’s encounter promises to be a classic game between the two best sides in the country at present. Hopefully the tie lives up to its billing and supporters witness the type of flowing football we have come to expect from these counties. On this occasion, Dublin are given the nod and again. The advice is to take Dublin +1.5pts click here to place a bet
Kerry (v Dublin) – Brendan Kealy, Shane Enright, Marc Ó Sé, Peter Crowley, Tomás Ó Sé,mKillian Young, Brian Maguire, Seamus Scanlon, Bryan Sheehan, Paul Galvin, Darran O’Sullivan, Sean O’Sullivan, James O’Donoghue, Kieran Donaghy, Barry John Keane.
Dublin(v Kerry): Stephen Cluxton (Parnell’s); Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala), Rory O’Carroll (Kilmacud Crokes), Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams); James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams), Ger Brennan (St Vincent’s), Craig Dias (Kilmacud Crokes); Ross McConnell (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh), Michael Dara Macauley (Ballyboden St Enda’s); Paul Brogan (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh), Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s), Bryan Cullen (Skerries Harps); Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent’s), Eoghan O’Gara (Templeogue Synge St), Tomás Quinn (St Vincent’s).