Kildare v Donegal
Kildare have had a good pre season, winning the O Byrne Cup. Donegal started January on holiday and are missing some key players, namely Player of the Year Karl Lacey, for the league.
Verdict – Kildare
Dublin v Cork
Cork are looking for their 4th league title in a row. Dublin have trialled a number of players in pre season and competition will be fierce for places. This should be an entertaining game between two sides who will go close to winning the competition.
Verdict – Dublin
Down v Tyrone
Home games will be important for Down as they look to survive in Division 1. Tyrone are in the process of replacing the old guard and have a lot of young players that have tasted underage success.
Verdict – Tyrone
Mayo v Kerry
Mayo have been a consistent performer in the league and will be hoping for another good league campaign that will also unearth some new players. Kerry are missing some key players for this tie but they too will be looking to try out some new players under the new management of Eamonn Fitzmaurice.
Verdict – Mayo
Laois v Armagh
Laois will be hoping to start the league on a positive note as they look to bounce back into Division 1. Armagh will be missing the Crossmaglen players for the early rounds of the league.
Verdict – Laois
Galway v Derry
Galway start life without Padraic Joyce at home to Derry. Galway just missed out on promotion last year and will be looking to get back into Division 1. Derry will be happy to maintain their league status but may have to wait for their first win.
Verdict – Galway
Westmeath v Louth
Both team will be looking to start with a win. This could be an important game in the relegation battle and early points will be a helpful start
Verdict – Draw
Wexford v Longford
This could be another important game in the relegation battle. These two teams were promoted together and will be looking to get a jump on the other at the start of the league.
Verdict – Longford
Antrim v Cavan
Cavan have had good under 21 teams in recent years and will be hoping to take some of that success into their senior team. Antrim had a notable championship win over Galway last year and will hope to build on that positive result. Both teams will be hoping to maintain status in this division as promotion should be beyond them.
Verdict – Cavan
Monaghan v Meath
This game will go a long way to deciding who gets promoted. Both teams were relegated from Division 2 last year and will be looking to bounce back straight away.
Verdict – Meath
Wicklow v Fermanagh
This game could have a big say in the relegation race as both teams will struggle for wins.
Verdict – Fermanagh
Roscommon v Sligo
It is seven years since Roscommon won the All Ireland minor title so it is time for this group of players to start producing on the senior stage. They have had a lot of success at minor and under 21 in recent years and should be pushing for promotion in this division. Sligo pushed Mayo closely in last years Connacht final and will be looking to get promoted this year’s league. This game could be significant in the promotion race.
Verdict – Roscommon
Tipperary v Carlow
Tipperary will be hoping to bounce back into Division 3 while introducing some of their All Ireland minor winners into the team.
Verdict – Tipperary
Limerick v Leitrim
Limerick had a good championship last year and almost knocked out Kildare only to be denied by an injury time Kildare point to level the game before losing in extra time. Leitrim have had a good pre season, winning the FBD league and beating Mayo in the process.
Verdict – Limerick
Clare v Waterford
Football in Clare has been rejuvenated with the arrival of Mick O Dwyer as manager.
Verdict – Clare
London v Offaly
Football in London has improved in recent seasons. Offaly have a lot of talent and will be hoping to earn promotion back to Division 3.
Verdict – Offaly