The All-Ireland Champions return to inter-county action on October 17th. Dublin vs Meath will be the only all Leinster tie in Division 1 and is a chance for both teams to get some well-needed match practice before the Championship.
Somewhat surprisingly, Dublin are in the middle of Division 1 thus far. However, they have only been beaten once. This was against Tyrone back in February. Two draws against Kerry and Monaghan have left Dessie Farrell’s team two points shy of top spot.
On the other hand, Meath look destined for relegation. So far, their five games have yielded zero points. In fact, they are probably one team who were grateful for the postponement of the League so they could regroup.
After coming up from Division 2 last year, the Royal County seem to be heading for the return journey. With Dublin and Monaghan as their remaining two League fixtures, manager Andy McEntee may decide the best option is to just focus on the coming Championship.
Meath face the winners of Wicklow and Wexford on the 8th of November in the Leinster quarter-final. Since McEntee’s side could potentially face Dublin in a Leinster final, he may opt against showing his strongest hand in the League. Instead, this could be an opportunity for new faces to earn a jersey. McEntee will have had a close eye on all the drama that occurred in the Club Championship and has plenty of options available to him.
In the same way, Farrell will likely be more concerned with the rapidly approaching Championship. After taking over from Jim Gavin, he is in the process of moulding his own team and the League is an opportunity for him to implement the changes. Farrell is well aware of the capabilities of Dublin’s major five-in-a-row contributors. Therefore, we may see the likes of Ballymun’s Paddy Small given a chance to break into the fifteen. Furthermore, youngsters such as Conor McHugh, Aaron Byrne and Sean Bugler are continuing to impress.