A bit of controversy surrounded this game with Donegal not happy that Dublin have this game in Croke Park, however the game will go ahead as scheduled at 7pm in GAA headquarters on Saturday night.
Both sides will come into the game in high spirits. Dublin have played three games so far this year in the championship with those games all ending in facile wins over Wicklow, Longford and Laois. They will step up here in terms of opposition, Donegal will be much tougher and have better quality players than the three mentioned, they can defend well and attack with menace. However, the news that star forward that Paddy McBrearty is out for the remainder of the championship is a massive blow for Declan Bonner’s men. Looking at the sides, Dublin have a spread of talent all over the field, from Mick Fitzsimmons in defence, to Brian Fenton in midfield, Ciaran Kilkenny, Dean Rock and Con O’Callaghan in attack to name but a few.
Donegal to date have played 4 championship games, these all coming on their march to another Ulster title, they beat, Cavan, Derry, Down and Fermanagh. Donegal also have quality to be fair with the McHugh brother Ryan and Mark, the ever impressive Michael Murphy, while Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Paul Brennan and Odhran Mac Niallais are all top footballers. Donegal will need all of their 15 players to have a massive performance if they are to overturn the reigning All-Ireland Champions in Croke Park though.
Teams will be announced closer to the game. They are expected to be announced Friday evening and will be posted here.
They meet in the quarter final for the second time in three seasons. Dublin won the last championship game between the sides 1-15 to 1-10 in 2016. It will only be the 7th championship game between the sides, with Dublin having won three of the last six, while Donegal have won two and their has been one draw. Dublin have played in 19 quarter finals, have won eleven , drawn three and lost five. Their last defeat in an All-Ireland quarter final was in 2009 to Kerry. Donegal have played in 12 quarter finals, winning four, drawing two and losing six.
LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP MEETINGS
2016 Dublin 1-15 Donegal 1-10 (All-Ireland quarter final)
2014 Donegal 3-14 Dublin 0-16 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2011 Dublin 0-08 Donegal 0-06 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2002 Dublin 1-14 Donegal 0-07 (All-Ireland quarter final replay)
2002 Dublin 2-08 Donegal 0-14 (All-Ireland quarter final)
According to the bookmakers this game is only going one way with Dublin priced at 1/7 to win, if you fancy an upset just like in 2014 then Donegal are 11/2. The draw is 14/1. I would avoid the handicap betting market here, but I think there will be a few goals in this game. I like Con O’Callaghan to get a goal anytime at 11/4, he is 9/1 also to grab the first goal. Another player of interest would be Paul Mannion and I would back him to get man of the match odds are around 12/1 for him to do so.