2021 GAA All-Ireland Football – County by County Finishing Positions

Kerry v Galway
Kerry and Galway meet in round 2 in Austin Stack Park at 7pm on Saturday. Photo credit: Shane Tighe

 25 total views,  5 views today

The GAA championship will return after a rather entertaining Allianz league campaign, the 134th edition of the GAA championship will commence on the 26th of June. With a set number of teams in contention to bring home Sam Maguire, other teams will be content to compete with the elite.

With Kilkenny not competing, and London and New York withdrawing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are 31 contenders vying for the crown of champions of their respective provincial championships and of course the All-Ireland.

We will rank and rate every side and where we think they will end up come August. Here is a full list of the 2021 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.

Antrim

After securing promotion to Division 3, Antrim’s league campaign was a stellar one. Winning all three of the games against Sligo, Louth, and Leitrim.

Not the highest opposition in reality, but for a county to have never won an All-Ireland or National League title in their history, and staying irrelevant in the Ulster Championship since 1951, their league campaign this year is a massive coup.

Enda McGinley’s appointment in November 2020 raised a few eyebrows at the time. It is safe to say he has improved The Glensmen where they could eventually compete in Ulster, but for now, they face Armagh in the Quarter-Finals as well as a potential meeting with Monaghan in the semi-finals.

Prediction: Ulster Quarter-Finals.

 

Armagh

Armagh is always a tricky side to talk about, they managed to see off Roscommon in the last league game to retain their status in Division 1 after a run of inconsistent performances.

Last years Ulster semi-finalists can be a dangerous outfit and with the addition of Kerry legend Kieran Donaghy as a member of Kieran McGeeney’s backroom staff for the upcoming season. They could surprise a few.

Overall, they not the team they once were from the early 2000s and the shark tank that is the Ulster championship. While they should beat Antrim, they would then face Monaghan.

If you are a betting person, stay clear of The Orchard County.

Prediction: Ulster Semi-Finals

 

Carlow

Their league campaign was successful and something to build on for the future. Defeating Waterford sparingly and edging out Wexford.

With an eight-point defeat to Louth for promotion to Division 3 last time out, they will feel hard done by.

Ultimately, to go far in Leinster, you will need massive amounts of luck and the hope that teams will have an off day.

They should have too much for Longford in the opening round of the Leinster championship, but that will be their highlight of 2021.

Prediction: Leinster Quarter-Finals.

 

Cavan

Having endured an eventful and ultimately downbeat league campaign. The Breffni county will hope to put things right in Ulster and beyond after relegation to Division 4.

The reigning Ulster Champions shocked the footballing world last year after defeating a poised Donegal side to win their 40th Ulster title (the most of any side in Ulster) and their first success since 1997.

They face Tyrone in their opening fixture, who is coming off a hammering from Kerry.

They still have plenty to prove.

Prediction: Ulster Semi-Finals

 

Clare

The Banner County turned a few heads after impressing against Jack O’Connor’s Kildare side earlier on in the league and finishing above Cork will give them momentum heading into the Munster title picture.

After being narrowly defeated by Mayo in the last outing that stopped them from booking their place in Division 1 for next season. They will hope to perform in Munster.

They just so happen to be facing a scary-looking Kerry side, who were recently crowned Division 1 champions along with Dublin.

Prediction: Munster Quarter-Finals

 

Cork

While Cork will always be considered in and around the elite teams of the championship, there is always something left to be desired from the Rebel County.

Ronan McCarthy is doing the best he can with the panel he has at his disposal. Despite winning two out of three league games his side still managed to survive a relegation play-off.

They will face Kerry in the Munster final, and unless a repeat of last years semi-final were to inexplicitly happen again, they will be left pondering for another year.

Prediction: Munster Finalists

 

Derry

The Oak-Leaf County stunned a lot of people by gaining promotion to Division 2, winning all their games, defeating two Ulster rivals in Fermanagh and Cavan after hammering Longford.

Being spearheaded by star full-forward Shane McGuigan all throughout their run in getting promoted. Rory Gallagher will hope he can produce at a higher level in the coming weeks.

They should falter when they face off against All-Ireland contenders, but stranger things have happened.

Prediction: Ulster Quarter-Finals

 

Donegal

While league form is not often looked at deeply for when the championship comes around, Donegal’s league campaign has been uninspiring.

Drawing to Monaghan and Armagh in entertaining games and beating a struggling Tyrone side is not what Declan Bonner would have hoped for.

They face off against Down in the Preliminary Round of the Ulster championship, which should be a walk in the park.

It is likely that they will face off against Monaghan in the final, which will be a toss-up affair.

Prediction: Ulster Champions and All-Ireland semi-finalists

 

Down

Not much can be said about this below than average Down team that has not been said already.

Bleak performances in Division 2, just about avoiding relegation and facing off against Donegal in the opening round of the Ulster championship is not what Paddy Tally would have hoped for.

The 2010 All-Ireland Finalists will be an underwhelming outfit yet again.

Prediction: Ulster Preliminary Round

 

Dublin

Trying to make a case for any other team to dethrone Dublin will be an uphill battle for anyone. They genuinely have not a single weakness to their game.

Posing outstanding talent in every position and with a phenomenal bench to call upon if they do encounter trouble. They remain a scary prospect for anyone and will remain so for years to come.

The Dubs will breeze through Leinster, and as the defending All-Ireland champions. They will aim to complete an unprecedented seven-in-a-row.

Prediction: Leinster and All-Ireland Champions
Fermanagh

Ryan McMenamin has a mountain to climb to make Fermanagh contenders in the Ulster championship. To no fault of his own.

They face off against a Monaghan side who recently survived relegation and will be looking to bounce back.

No one expects much from Fermanagh, and they will remain in the shadows for the foreseeable future.

Prediction: Ulster Quarter-Finals

 

Galway

No one would have thought that Galway would be playing Division 2 football. Losing too Monaghan in a relegation play-off is not what Pádraic Joyce would have wanted.

Having been a dominating force in Connacht from 2015 onwards, questions will still be asked on rather or not they can hamper Mayo’s hopes after last year’s loss.

Prediction: Connacht Semi-Final

 

Kerry

The Kingdom is coming into the championship having retained their league title (alongside Dublin). Remaining unbeaten throughout their group and hammering Tyrone in their last outing.

After last year’s shock exit at the hands of Munster rivals Cork, they will have more than enough to bounce back.

Peter Keane’s side keeps improving with each passing year, with Dublin in their horizon. They should impress.

Prediction: Munster champions and All-Ireland Finalists

 

Kildare

Jack O’Connor has done a respectable job since being appointed as Kildare manager all the way back in 2019.

Having admitted that his side is ‘’not prepared for a step up in class’’. Their main goal is to get closer to Dublin.

Only suffering one defeat to a vibrant Clare side during their league campaign, they gained promotion to Division 1. They still have a long way to go if they want to compete with the elite.

Prediction: Leinster Semi-Final

 

Laois

Nothing is expected of Laois moving forward for this championship season. Being relegated from Division 2 alongside a poor Westmeath side, boasting an identical league record.

They will face Westmeath in the Quarter-finals of the Leinster championship and should be favourites coming into the fixture.

Prediction: Leinster Semi-Final

 

Leitrim

The Ridge County are often the whipping boys of the Connacht championship.

They will go head-to-head with either Mayo or Sligo in the semi-final, and unless Sligo pull off an upset, they will be outclassed by Mayo.

Prediction: Connacht Semi-Final

 

Limerick

After a successful league campaign, Limerick will hope to go as far as they can in Munster.

Overperforming and surprising some doubters, Billy Lee and his backroom staff will be confident in reaching the latter stages of the Munster title picture.

However, I can see The Treaty County faltering early on.

Prediction: Munster Quarter-Final

 

Longford

Longford caused one of the shocks of the summer by beating and relegating reigning Munster champions Tipperary in their last outing at Pearse Park.

If they were to continue this form going forward, they would light up the championship.

Realistically they will not get past the first round once they meet stronger opposition.

Prediction: Leinster Round 1

 

Louth

The Wee County gained a massive coup by gaining promotion to Division 3 after some relatively fruitful performances.

Once they hit the championship, they should be out of their depth, no fault of their own but the level of competition is just beyond them at the moment.

Prediction: Leinster Round 1

 

Mayo

What can be said about Mayo that has not been said already? After another loss to Dublin at Croke Park in December of last year, not many give them the credit they deserved.

The level of young and prosperous players James Horan has at his disposal is unquestionably brilliant.

After picking up their first Connacht title since 2015 against Galway last year and will play Division 1 football next year. They are once again looking like a strong outfit.

Prediction: Connacht Champions and All Ireland Semi-Finalists

 

Meath

Meath will always be in and around the latter stages of the Leinster title picture. The only problem being that this Dublin team exist.

They have a relatively easy route to the final, but the outcome will be set in stone.

Prediction: Leinster Finalists

 

Monaghan

Monaghan is often seen as the dark horses for the championship every season, and every year they tend to fall apart.

Conor McManus can only do so much and on the verge of turning 35 this year, Séamus McEnaney will hope his squad can perform without their star player.

Having survived relegation by defeating Galway, they will jump at the opportunity to redeem themselves.

Prediction: Ulster finalists

 

Offaly

Gaining promotion to Division 2 after three successive wins, Offaly will dream that they can go all the way in Leinster.

They will not go further than the hope, but with Division 2 on the horizon, the foundations are strong for this young team to improve for next year’s exploits.

Prediction: Leinster Quarter-Finals

 

Roscommon

The Connacht giants make up the trifecta of challengers alongside Mayo and Galway in the west.

Losing to Mayo in last years semi-final will have stung the Rossies, and who can forget the humiliation they suffered in the 2017 All-Ireland Quarter-Finals.

Getting past Galway will be a challenge, but if they do. They will have to face a Mayo side who know how to best them when it really matters.

Prediction: Connacht Finalists

 

Sligo

Not a lot can be said about Sligo. They have underwhelmed in the Connacht championship for years now and are out of depth whenever they go up against the big three.

Having not competed in a Connacht final since 2015 and not picking up silverware since 2007, it is a bleak future for The Yeats County.

Prediction: Connacht Quarter-Finals

 

Tipperary

The reigning Munster champions have fallen off since their heroics last year. Being relegated down from Division 3.

It is sad to see such an underrated side underperform in a group they should stroll past.

They face an uphill battle to beat Kerry in the semi-final if they want to try and retain their title.

Prediction: Munster Semi-Finals

 

Tyrone

Fergal Logan and Brian Dooher must be scratching their heads after their humiliating defeat to Kerry last week.

Thoroughly outplayed and outmuscled from minute one, the O’Neill County will hope to put their league performances behind them come the championship.

Cavan is next up, who also has a lot to prove after their relegation.

I predict an upset.

Prediction: Ulster Quarter-Finals

 

Waterford

Division 4 contenders Waterford only played 2 games in the league, getting hammered by Carlow and edging out Wexford by a point.

They are the outside bet in Leinster and should surprise a few if they can manage to perform in the big games.

Prediction: Munster Semi-Finals

 

Westmeath

The Lake County had a dire league campaign, being handed three defeats from three. Equally, no one expected them to pick up many points with Mayo and Meath in the same group.

They will now play Division 3 football come next year.

Jack Cooney’s men will face off against fellow relegated Laois in their opening game of the Leinster championship.

Prediction: Leinster Quarter-Finals

 

Wexford

Wexford had a poor league campaign, finishing bottom of Division 4 South, picking up no wins in the process.

It would take a miracle for them to compete in an already stacked Leinster title picture.

They would face Dublin in the Quarter-Finals if they get past Wicklow, which would leave a lot to be desired.

Prediction: Leinster Quarter-Finals

 

Wicklow

Like Wexford, Wicklow has been nothing short of terrible throughout the league, finishing bottom of Division 3 South.

They will beat Wexford in the opening round, but after that, its down to Dublin on rather or not they go hard on them.

Prediction: Leinster Semi-Finals

 

LiveScores Now Available at IrishScores.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here