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GAA: Mayo Battle Rebels As Kerry Face Tribesmen

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All Ireland Football Quarter Finals

Cork v Mayo

This will be by far the game of the weekend with Mayo having failed to win an All-Ireland in recent times and this Cork side are looking for some redemption to overcome their poor showing so far in this championship.  Getting badly beaten by Kerry in the Munster final and their near miss against Tipperary will give them all the motivation they need to spark an upturn in fortune. Cork may have made into the All-Ireland quarter final stage but they have been far from impressive so far in this year’s championship.  Mayo will certain fancy their chances against the rebels this weekend as they have been far more impressive as the championship has progressed.  Mayo have been doing what is required of them to get to this stage of the championship and have shown some weaknesses in their play particularly in defence and midfield as they haven’t been as prominent as last year. Cork will need to use Paul Kerrigan’s influence once again to link up play between defence and attack and this could result in some problems for the Connacht champions.

Cork have been poor so far in this championship and this is the game that they will judge their championship on. Mayo will likely need to improve around midfield and more so around defence. Cork’s poor showing in the championship and Mayo’s need to perform to the same heights as last year makes this game a hard one to call.

Verdict: Draw

Kerry v Galway

Kerry and Galway are on a collision course this weekend as the kingdom seek to have a big day out come September.

Galway’s forward play so far in this championship has been relatively good with Shane Walsh and Paul Conroy being influential up front. Galway are very dependent on their midfield to rack up scores but they have a big problem in defence as they lack leadership and this was evident when they failed to close out the game against Tipperary which allowed the Munster men, who have good forwards, to punish them with four goals in the second half. They also leaked goals against Mayo. One wonders how many goals Kerry could potentially score against them.

Galway will certainly have their work cut out for them this weekend and their defence could be very exposed against the Kerry forward line. Kerry have been okay so far this season and have been getting the job done with a victory over a strong Clare outfit and a comprehensive hammering of Cork on Leeside. It is really hard to see how Galway can stop Kerry progressing. Galway need to get in charge in midfield and ensure their backline remains tight otherwise they will be in real trouble.

Verdict: Kerry

All-Ireland Football Qualifiers Round 4B

Kildare v Monaghan

Kildare and Monaghan will face off in this All Ireland Qualifier with the winner having the prospect of playing the All Ireland Champions Dublin the following weekend.

Monaghan have been a very strong side in the Ulster championship and their presence there has been based on playing a very physical natured game. Kildare will need to tighten their defence against this Monaghan side as they could be very exposed in the first half and may concede some early goals. Kildare’s strong point is their midfield and when they get themselves going they are quite effective but the game is seventy minutes long and they will need to perform better over the course of the game.

Monaghan will be well rested since their defeat in the Ulster final and could be too strong for the Lilywhites this weekend. Kildare will need a positive start to the game and must follow it through until the end of the game. Monaghan will certainly welcome this challenge and they seem to be a far more battle hardened side than Kildare.

Verdict: Monaghan

Armagh v Meath

Armagh and Meath have both been rather impressive so far in this year’s championship, the Leinster final serving as an exception to that statement.

Meath will certainly look for a more consistent play as they have failed to make any real improvements so far in this year’s championship. Armagh on the other hand were unlucky not to do better in the Ulster Championship and have progressed well so far in the Qualifiers. Armagh will certainly fancy their chances in this year’s championship with a strong line up of good midfielders and some excellent forwards like Jamie Clarke leading the way for the Ulstermen. Meath will have to improve dramatically if they are to change their championship position as I don’t think they would be ready to progress beyond this stage just yet.

Meath don’t really have much penetration up front and if they lose the battle in midfield they could be in serious trouble. Meath can’t afford to let Armagh to get a foothold in this game, otherwise they risk being run ragged by an ever improving side from the orchard county.

Verdict: Armagh

Image courtesy of GAA.ie

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