Monaghan and Tyrone will battle it out for a place in the All-Ireland on Sunday in an all Ulster affair at Croke Park with a 3.30pm throw in. The game is live on RTE and Sky Sports while we will be providing updates regularly on our match trackers.
Looking at both of the sides firstly Monaghan. They have had a superb season to date. Malachy O’Rourke’s charges made history when they beat Galway last weekend to make the All-Ireland semi-final stages for the first time since 1988. In that game several players shown yet again how top class they were Karl O’Connell, Rory Beggan and Conor McManus are surely all going to get all-stars now, while Vinny Corey, Darren Hughes and Colin Walshe should come into the recknowing as well for an all-star. If these players listed come up trumps on Sunday they will be very difficult to beat in my opinion.
Mickey Harte leads Tyrone in this semi-final in good nick. They have a good season also thus far. Tyrone were superb in their winner takes all tie with Donegal at Ballybofey last weekend. Several players once again showed their worth to the Red Hand cause, Mattie Donnelly, Colm Cavanagh and Niall Sludden all coming to the fore. Tyrone will once again look to the impressive Peter Harte, Conor McAliskey and Richard Donnelly also for scores. Tyrone will no doubt be up for this game and I expect them to go hell for leather in the opening 10 minutes to lay down a marker.
Tyrone: Niall Morgan; Michael McKernan, Ronan McNamee, Rory Brennan; Tiernan McCann, Frank Burns, Peter Harte; Colm Cavanagh, Padraig Hampsey; Mattie Donnelly, Niall Sludden, Cathal McShane; Mark Bradley, Richard Donnelly, Connor McAliskey.
Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Kieran Duffy, Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie; Colin Walshe, Vinny Corey, Karl O’Connell; Niall Kearns, Darren Hughes; Ryan McAnespie, Shane Carey, Dessie Mone; Dermot Malone, Fintan Kelly, Conor McManus.
LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP MEETINGS
2018 Monaghan 1-18 Tyrone 1-16 (Ulster quarter final)
2015 Tyrone 0-18 Monaghan 0-14 (All-Ireland quarter final)
2014 Monaghan 1-12 Tyrone 0-14 (Ulster quarter final)
2013 Tyrone 0-14 Monaghan 0-12 (All-Ireland quarter final)
2011 Tyrone 1-13 Monaghan 1-11 (Ulster quarter final)
As you can the last five championship games between the sides the highest winning margin was 4 points with that win coming for Tyrone in 2015 in the quarter final stages of the All-Ireland. It will the first all Ulster semi-final since 2005 when Tyrone took on Armagh, and ended up 1 point winners. Monaghan last reached an All-Ireland Final in 1930, when they lost out to Kerry. For Mickey Harte and Tyrone it’s their 4th All-Ireland semi-final in six seasons, They have lost the last three of those to Dublin (2017), Kerry (2015) and Mayo 2013. They lost out also to Cork in 2009 which means they are looking to reach the All-Ireland for the first time since 2008.
Mickey Harte has lead the Red Hands into battle on 9 occasions with the Farney men, he indeed has won 6 of those and only has two of the previous seven.
Tyrone are 8/11 to win this game, while Monaghan are a nice looking price at 13/8 if you fancy a few quid on them. I am shading it with Tyrone and based on past games it will be close so the winning margin betting of Tyrone to win by 1-3 points appeals to me at odds of 11/4. I also the market of Colm Cavanagh just to be nominated for man of the match, meaning to be picked in the top three for the award on the Sunday, he is a tasty looking 4/1.