National Football League Division 1 Preview

Dublin v Down

Stephen Cluxton

Dublin suffered their first league defeat last weekend against Tyrone.

The league’s two leading scorers come face to face in the shape of Bernard Brogan and Donal O Hare in this Saturday night clash at Croke Park.  Both teams have had contrasting league campaigns to date with Dublin almost guaranteed to be in the semi finals and Down facing relegation.  Dublin lost their first game to Tyrone last week and will be looking to get back on winning ways this weekend, a win would put them in the semi finals.  Down have been competitive in all of their games and promise to be again against Dublin but may find the going a bit too much.

Verdict: Dublin

Kerry v Cork

Kerry GAA

Colm Cooper returns to the Kerry squad for the first time this year this weekend.

The two big Munster rivals meet in Tralee this Sunday in what is always a big game.  Cork are not mathematically safe and a loss in this game will leave them in danger going into the last week.  They have suffered a blow this week with Colm O Neill being ruled out for quiet some time with a cruciate ligament injury.  Daniel Goulding does make his first start of the season in this one.  Cork have won three in a row after starting with two losses.

Kerry have had a poor league campaign but are gradually welcoming back players to the fold and are increasingly looking stronger.  Colm Cooper returns to the squad this weekend and will start from the bench this weekend.  With a full forward line containing Declan and Darren O Sullivan as well as Kieran Donaghy, there are plenty of reason for Kingdom fans to be optimistic.

Verdict: Kerry

Mayo v Donegal

Colm Mc Fadden

Mayo and Donegal meet in a repeat of last year’s All Ireland Final.

This game is a repeat of the 2012 All Ireland final.  This weekend it serves as a big relegation battle in Castlebar.  Both teams have been competitive to date but have not get the required wins in a competitive division.  Both teams have high Summer ambitions but both will also be eager to pick up the points on offer this weekend.

Mayo were very disappointing in letting a 6 point lead slip against Kildare last weekend to lose by a point.  They have struggled for goals and will certainly find it difficult against Donegal’s tight defence.  James Horan will be looking to keep a tight hold on Michael Murphy who has been in good form in this year’s league and caused so much damage in last year’s All Ireland final.  Jim McGuiness will know that a win should keep them safe and will pinpoint this game as one to take something from.

It will be a big game in Castlebar with two sides with plenty to play for.  Mayo’s need is greater and memories of last September should spur them over the line.

Verdict: Mayo

Kildare v Tyrone

Tyrone GAA

Mickey Harte is building another Tyrone team.

Two sides with eight points clash in Newbridge on Sunday, with the winner advancing to the semi finals.  Both sides were promoted last season and have adapted extremely well to life in Division 1.

After being well beaten by Dublin, Kildare bounced back well against Mayo after being 6 points down but getting a win in the end.  Tyrone inflicted Dublin’s first defeat last weekend and are unbeaten on the road winning in Down, Mayo and Dublin.  They will hope to round off their last away game with a win for a 100% road record. Both teams will be hoping to book that semi final spot this weekend in what should be a tight affair.

Verdict: Tyrone

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