It’s getting close to the kick of the weekend’s All-Ireland final celebrations in Mayo and Dublin but we look at key battles that could decide the winner
Lee Keegan v Diarmuid Connolly
Keegan will surely be given the task of marking Diarmuid Connolly once again as when the sides met in the All-Ireland semi-final in 2015 he done a very good man marking job on him in the drawn replay. Keegan has been superb for Mayo so far in the championship and is well on the way to another all-star award. However, he will have his hands full on Sundaywhen he comes up against Diarmuid Connolly who is yet to have a big day going by his standards.
The key for Mayo will be trying to eliminate the amount of ball Connolly gets. If they do this this will stop him from scoring obviously and will stop him creating scoring chances, easier said than done though. Either way it should be a massive battle between two athletes and two of the best players in the game at the moment.
Philly McMahon v Aidan O’Shea
Phllly McMahon marked O’Shea in last year’s All-Ireland semi-finals. Will he do so again? I think he will. McMahon is a physical player and this will be needed to mark Aidan O’Shea who is one of the strongest in the game at this moment. McMahon likes to go forward and is capable of scoring points and goals from open play so Mayo will have to watch this as well.
O’Shea has yet to fire on all cylinders but he could be saving it for the big day on Sunday. Whatever way we look at it if these players do mark each other it will be physical and a massive game from either player could be the winning of the game.
Keith Higgins v Bernard Brogan
In my opinion these two players are two of the best in the game. Will Higgins be given the task of marking Brogan, I certainly think so. Higgins is a great man marker and he has a wealth of experience. He was man of the match in the semi-final against Tipperary and a big performance on Brogan on Sunday afternoon will see him go close to the award again.
Brogan is a superb forward, he is capable of winning the game on his own. Therefore, I believe Mayo’s best defender should mark Dublin’s best forward. In saying that if Brogan is not playing well they have 5 other forwards that are all match winners but stopping Brogan will be winning some part of the battle at least.