The 2021 Connacht Senior Football Championship will get underway on June 26 when Mayo visit Sligo at Markiewicz Park.
Mayo comes into the Connacht provincial championship off the back of a very strong National Football League campaign.
In contrast, their opponents enter the Championship after a big loss to Wexford in the Division Four shield.
The All-Ireland finalists breezed past the opposition in Division Two after their relegation last season.
The defending provincial champions weathered a Westmeath storm in the first half of their only challenge in Division Two.
The Mayo attack has been in hot form with 102 points from four games.
Cillian O’Connor showed his quality with expert free-taking and the rest of the team chipped in with points every game.
Furthermore, the Mayo defence has improved after the Heather County’s 2020 campaign was the definition of gung-ho football.
The Connacht giants’ opposition has had a less positive start to the 2021 season.
Sligo started well with a convincing three-goal win over neighbours Leitrim.
Their attack has been impressive in their first games under Tony McEntee.
Sean Carrabine has been a consistent scorer in the Sligo full-forward line and should play well against Mayo.
However, their defence cracked against the stronger sides in Division Four North.
Sligo had another three-goal display via three penalties against Antrim but gave the Saffrons three of their own, losing by a point.
Furthermore, Mickey Harte’s Louth put three past Sligo goalkeeper Eamonn Kilgannon to doom the Magpies to the Division Four Shield.
In addition, Wexford gave the Yeats County another tough day with a dominant victory to win the shield.
NFL Div 4
Wexford: 2-15(21) pic.twitter.com/cO7kNUMCwJ
— Sligo GAA (@sligogaa) June 13, 2021
This was the only game where their attack could not keep up with the opposition as Wexford ran out 2-15 (21) to 0-09 (9) winners.
The Wexford loss was a wake-up call for a side that is slowly improving.
But their slight improvements are not enough to take down a side with as much quality as James Horan’s Mayo has.
Sligo should not trouble the Connacht champions.
The winner of Mayo v Sligo faces Leitrim on May 11th.
Predicted Winner: Mayo by 15