Last weekend’s results saw some major changes in the Division 1 table. Kerry’s win on the road against Monaghan sees them in the driving seat. Now, they are just a point in the lead but they have the home advantage in round 7. Meanwhile, Donegal distanced themselves from relegation with a win over Tyrone. In fact, they could even find themselves in the top two if results go their way. Kerry vs Donegal has a 2pm throw-in on Saturday.
Kerry’s efficiency in front of goal saw them cruise to victory in Monaghan. David Clifford returned to regularly scheduled shooting with 0-6. Likewise, Tony Brosnan contributed 0-3 to put his hand up for selection.
In addition, defenders Jason Foley, Gavin White and Paul Murphy all found the target to add some threat from deep. When they play Donegal, these driving runs will be needed to penetrate the ’45.
However, Donegal have plenty of attacking options in their own right. Jamie Brennan and Niall O’Donnell scored 1-4 between them from the half-forward line. In addition to this, Ryan McHugh reminded everyone why he’s among the best with 0-3 from wing-back.
If Kerry’s half-backs match up with Donegal’s half-forwards as they should on paper, this game will be free-flowing. Donegal have nothing to lose. As a result, we may see them take the game to Kerry and make the Kingdom earn the title.
Kerry travelled without Jack Barry, Paul Geaney, Stephen O’Brien and James O’Donoghue. These are four of the first fifteen who will need minutes before the Championship. Therefore, Peter Keane could introduce these familiar faces against Donegal if available.
But, the likes of Paudie Clifford, Killian Spillane, Tony Brosnan, and Dara Moynihan are offering an exciting dimension to the attack. Keane could opt to experiment with his forwards. It also remains to be seen where Tommy Walsh will be primarily deployed.
Donegal were without Patrick McBrearty, who limped out of a recent challenge game against Roscommon. Michael Langan and Odhrán McFadden-Ferry were also absent. Declan Bonner may opt against risking these players even if available next weekend. Donegal face Tyrone in the first round of the Championship. As a result, Bonner will be torn between saving such players and giving them some much needed match practice.
Kerry (Donegal): Shane Ryan; Jason Foley, Tadhg Morley, Tom O’Sullivan; Paul Murphy, Peter Crowley, Gavin White; David Moran, Diarmuid O’Connor; Micheal Burns, Sean O’Shea, Ronan Buckley; Tony Brosnan, David Clifford, Dara Moynihan.
Donegal (Kerry) Stephen Ryan, Gordon Kelly, Cillian Brennan, Eoghan Collins, Pearse Lillias, Aaron Fitzgerald, Alan Sweeney, Cathal O’Connor, Ciaran Russell, Emmet McMahon, Eoin Cleary, Jamie Malone, Kerman Sexton, Joe McGann, Cian O’Dea
Kerry. The Kingdom’s firepower up front is arguably the best around. Even if Keane opts for some rotation, the new faces will be keen to show their worth. On the other hand, Donegal have no reason to take major risks so Bonner will likely disperse some game-time among the squad.
Kerry vs Donegal: Division 1, Saturday, October 24th, 2pm (Tralee).
Watch the Full-Time Highlights of Donegal v Tyrone in Round 6 of the Allianz Football League here on GAANOW!
Tyrone: 2-13 pic.twitter.com/NfYd1fi0a9
— The GAA (@officialgaa) October 18, 2020