Monaghan v Fermanagh, Sunday, 1.45pm, Clones
Monaghan and Fermanagh meet in the biggest of all the games in the qualifiers this weekend at Clones on Sunday afternoon at 1.45pm.
Malachy O’Rourke will be looking for a better performance than the loss to Cavan. The Farney men were poor at times in that game. In defence players like Ryan Wylie, Drew Wylie and Colin Walshe will need to put in big performances, while Conor McManus, Stephen O’Hanlon and Dermot Malone will need to have big games in the Monaghan forward line.
Looking at Fermanagh they come into the game on the back of a loss to Donegal in the Ulster quarter-final. Fermanagh build their team around the defence and that is no surprise seen former Tyrone defender Ryan McMenamin is in the backroom team along with Rory Gallagher. Che Cullen at full back is a superb footballer, while Ultan Kelm at wing back is also superb. Eoin Donnelly and Ryan Jones will likely line up together in midfield, while in attack Sean Quigley, Conall Jones and Aidan Breen will need to produce the goods in attack for the Ernesiders to win here.
This will be the third meeting between the sides in three years. In 2018, Fermanagh won a low scoring contest 1-08 to 0-10 at Omagh, that was in the Ulster semi-final. In 2017, Monaghan won 1-20 to 1-11 in a preliminary round meeting.
Malachy O’Rourke speaking to Hoganstand.com said “It’s also the only all Ulster pairing in this first round of qualifiers but after playing them last year in the semi-final, it would be one you would maybe hope you wouldn’t get but that’s what the draw has thrown up and we just have to get focused on it now, because it is primarily about getting our own performance right.”
Rory Gallagher speaking to the Impartialreporter.com said “I think it is the toughest draw we could have got, they would be seen as the top seeds in the draw and I suppose we would probably be second seeds when you look at the league tables.”
Monaghan are 1/4 to win this game, while Fermanagh are priced at 4/1. The draw is 9/1. I expect a close game and Fermanagh to set up defensively. Therefore, I think they will cover the handicap Fermanagh +4 at 10/11 looks the bet.