Allianz Football League previews
Sport

Allianz Football League previews

Division 1

Sunday April 5

Mayo v Donegal

Derry v Cork

Monaghan v Dublin

Advertisement

Tyrone v Kerry

CORK already have a semi-final place secured; Derry will be relegated, but everything else is to be determined this Sunday. 

The sub-plots are plentiful.  Mayo and Donegal in Castlebar promises to be tasty for a variety of reasons.  There has been a touch of the erratic about both teams this spring, but with summer approaching this match will be interesting.

Perhaps it is somewhat fitting that Derry meet Cork.  There isn’t a whole pile at stake, but Derry’s defensive set up agitated Dublin at Croke Park last Saturday.  Will a similar approach be adopted against Cork?

Monaghan have been efficient and effective so far accumulating eight points.  To guarantee a berth in the next round they will need to record a result against Dublin, who should be equally enthusiastic.

In Omagh Tyrone’s tussle with Kerry is crucial.  “Morale is very low,” was Mickey Harte’s assessment following their Donegal setback. “They’re a seriously disappointed bunch of men. So we’re just not in a good place at the moment. We have a lot of soul-searching to do, and that’s what we have to be about this week – to try to get a performance against Kerry.

“It’s very strange, because in some of the games against some of the top teams we played this year, we were excellent." That is what Tyrone will have to be if relegation is to be avoided.

Advertisement

Division 2

Sunday April 5

Westmeath v Roscommon

Galway v Kildare

Down v Laois

Meath v Cavan

Four points divide top and bottom just to confirm how strangely tight Division 2 is.  Every team has lost at least two matches meaning the ‘it will go down to the wire’ predictions of many managers were on the money.

Advertisement

Down currently top the pile, but Laois need something too so that will be a key game as will Galway’s encounter with Kildare.  Defeat would put Kildare down, a win might save them.  Galway started the campaign brightly before suffering a blip, but the return of the Corofin brigade helped them to a triumph over Roscommon, who face a tricky task in Mullingar.

Westmeath were spirited in the first half against Cavan, but they struggled after the restart.  The midlanders’ featured in Division One in 2014, they won’t want to be in Division Three in 2016.  Only victory will suffice for Tom Cribbin’s team.  That still mightn’t be enough.

Division 3

Sunday April 5

Sligo v Armagh

Louth v Limerick

Clare v Fermanagh

Advertisement

Tipperary v Wexford

Fermanagh and Armagh are promoted and can also look forward to a Division 3 decider, but five teams are technically still in relegation trouble.

Tipperary are safe, though, hosting Wexford, who are unlikely to avoid relegation barring several strange results.  Clare’s match with Fermanagh will be competitive as should Louth’s tie with Limerick.

Division 4

Saturday April 4

Leitrim v Waterford

Sunday April 5

Advertisement

Wicklow v London

Carlow v Longford

Offaly v Antrim

One of the most interesting affairs at the weekend will be in Tullamore.  The winner between Offaly and Antrim will take it all.  The loser will remain in Division Four.  Longford’s success over Offaly was an achievement so the Faithful now face a tricky test on home turf.

Lorcan Mulvey’s determination earned London a point from a remarkable Ruislip contest with Waterford.  London’s performances throughout the competition have generally been plucky so Paul Coggins’ charges will want to be similarly industrious when facing Wicklow.