Ulster Senior Football Championship Final – Monaghan v Tyrone – Croke Park – 4. 00 pm – RTE
Monaghan will go head to head with Tyrone at Croke Park in Dublin this coming Saturday at 4.00 pm in the Ulster Senior Football Championship Final live on RTÉ.
It was announced that the game would be moved from the Athletic Grounds in Armagh to Croke Park.
The moving of the match will be the first time since 2006 that the Ulster championship will be played at Croke Park.
Now, the Ulster Senior Football Championship Final (Monaghan v Tyrone) is set for the capital, with the winner facing Munster champions Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Both Monaghan and Tyrone are close in terms of Ulster titles won, with Monaghan winning a grand total of 16 titles to Tyrone’s 15.
The last time Monaghan lifted the Anglo-Celt Cup was back in 2015, since then, they have not reached an Ulster final.
While Tyrone’s last title was back in 2017.
2010 was the last time Monaghan and Tyrone faced off in the pinnacle of Ulster football.
Tyrone came out on top that day, winning comfortably 1-14 to 0-07 in St Tiernach’s Park in Clones.
Looking into the match, Monaghan has looked hot and cold throughout the league and championship.
Avoiding relegation after defeating Galway in the relegation play-off.
In the quarter-final, they overcame a rugged Fermanagh side by 1-21 to 0-14 and then having a contender for the game of the championship against Armagh in the semi-final.
Coming out on top with a 4-17 to 2-21 victory.
Monaghan is often seen as the dark horse for the championship every season, and every year they tend to fall apart.
Can they live up to their title of dark horse remains to be seen?
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, when and if he walks away from the panel.
Tyrone were abysmal in the Allianz League, with their loss to Kerry a standout for how far behind Tyrone are compared to the elite teams.
Since then, they have knocked out current reigning Ulster champions Cavan in the quarter-final and then putting in a magnificent performance in the semi-final against favourites Donegal, pipping their rivals 0-23 to 1-14.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Without Conor McManus causing problems in the full-forward line, manager Seamus McEnaney will need to find a solution for his side’s lack of variety going forward.
Bar and injury, McManus seems set to play on, at the age of 34, he is in the twilight of his career, but if he can stay fit and get the proper service, he can make Monaghan serious contenders in Ulster and beyond.
Defeating Donegal was a shock to the system for many pundits and fans alike, showing they can play the best on any given day.
Star player and captain Mattie Donnelly is their most important player since Seán Cavanagh’s retirement in 2017.
Without Donnelly, not much emphasis will be put on this Tyrone side as major contenders.
Other key players for Tyrone is the returning Conor McShane and Conor McKenna, who both have much to prove going forward.
Predicting any game in the Ulster championship is difficult, Donegal and Cavan were the favourites coming into the season, and both went out with a whimper.
Just prior to the start of the championship season, Tyrone was struggling to find form, with many predicting them to bow out in embarrassing fashion, since then they have impressed many with their performances.
It will be a close game to call but based on the level of opponents faced and how they have improved ever so slightly since their league form, Tyrone will be crowned Ulster champions come Monday.
Prediction: Tyrone by 2 points
Starting Teams – TBC