Dublin v Kildare, Sunday, 4 pm, Croke Park
All-Ireland Champions will play their first championship game in Croke Park this season where they will play Kildare in the Leinster football semi-final. The winner will play Laois or Meath in the Leinster final.
This will be Dublin’s second outing of the championship having comfortably beaten Louth in the quarter-final. This should be a tougher game for Jim Gavin’s men though. However, recent games between the sides that Dublin have won quite easy. Jim Gavin could be without a couple of players according to the Irish Mirror, they report that Dean Rock and Jonny Cooper. Paddy Andrews hasn’t played since March since suffering a broken jaw, while Paul Mannion will be suspended for the game after he was sent off in the win over the Wee County. Still, though Dublin have a wealth of talent. Con O’Callaghan, Brian Fenton, Ciaran Kilkenny are all expected to start once more.
Looking at the Lilywhites. Cian O’Neill has come out this week to say his side are going to win which is very optimistic considering his side have been hammered the last three occasions the teams have met. Kildare’s last win, in fact, came in 2000, 19 years ago. If they are to cause a shock they will need every single player to play 10/10 that is including the substitutes. They do have good players in fairness. Fergal Conway has been superb in the Lilywhites’ championship games to date, Tommy Moolick and Ben McCormack both put in big performances in the replay win over Longford last weekend to. However, just look at Dublin’s dominance the average winning margin in the province last year was 20 points. Kildare have only scored 2 goals compared to Dublin’s 11 goals in the three meetings between the sides.
Last 5 Championship Meetings
2017 Dublin 2-23 Kildare 1-17 (Leinster final)
2015 Dublin 5-18 Kildare 0-14 (Leinster semi-final)
2013 Dublin 4-16 Kildare 1-09 (Leinster semi-final)
2011 Dublin 1-12 Kildare 1-11 (Leinster semi-final)
2009 Dublin 2-15 Kildare 0-18 (Leinster Final)
Speaking to the Independent.ie Cian O’Neill Kildare boss firmly believes his side is going to win the game, he is quoted saying “We are going to win that match, we are going to perform.
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Mark Dempsey, Mick O’Grady, David Hyland; Peter Kelly, Eoin Doyle, Keith Cribbin; Kevin Feely, Tommy Moolick; David Slattery, Paddy Brophy, Fergal Conway; Adam Tyrrell, Ben McCormack, Neil Flynn.
Dublin are a massive 1/80 to win this game, while Kildare are 20/1. The draw is 40/1. Dublin should be far too strong for Kildare here and the handicap market of Dublin -14 at 10/11 appeals to me. Con O’Callaghan at 6/1 to get the first goal also looks a good bet in a game which could see plenty of goals.