It’s that time of the year again as the best 8 teams are left standing after going through the qualifiers and their provincial campaigns. The Super 8’s or All-Ireland quarter-finals are all about momentum win your first game and you are in with a shout for an All-Ireland semi-final, lose it and you could be gone out of the championship. So let’s break each group down, group 1 and group 2 and tell you our predictions on how we expect things to pan out.
Group 1: Donegal, Kerry, Mayo and Meath
Donegal: Will open their Super 8’s with a game against Meath at Ballybofey where they will be expected to come away with the win. The final group game with Mayo will basically decide if they go through to a semi-final or not in my opinion. They have a good defence, while the attacking options they possess with Murphy, McBrearty, and Brennan means they can match any team in the country at the minute. Prediction: Will reach semi-finals
Kerry: Peter Keane’s Kerry open their account with a home game against Mayo in what is a really big game. A loss here and they will be on the back foot, a win would be fantastic as you would expect Kerry to beat Meath. The game against Donegal is probably 50-50. They have formidable forwards, James O’Donoghue, David Clifford and Paul Geaney just to name a few when they all click they will be hard to beat. Prediction: Will reach semi-finals
Mayo: What can be said about this Mayo team they keep coming back every year when everyone says they are finished. They have the experience and they know how to win games. They will need that in this group with games against Kerry and Donegal. Face a difficult game in Kerry a loss there and it could be curtains. A win and it could be an All-Ireland semi-final spot as I expect them to beat Meath. It could come down to the final round of games when they face Donegal in Castlebar. Prediction: Exit Championship
Meath: This is where Meath need to be playing but going on their Leinster Final appearance they will be up against it here against two division 1 teams, they also play Donegal a team who beat them in the league final in Division 2. I don’t think they will win a game in all honesty here. A loss to Donegal on Sunday and they are on the back foot, they play Mayo in Croke Park and Kerry in Navan. Prediction: Exit Championship
Group 2: Dublin, Cork, Roscommon and Tyrone
Dublin: Dublin have avoided Kerry, Donegal and Mayo and are probably in the easier group of the two. They have two games against Cork and Roscommon where they will be expected to win. The game that could be the difference in getting 1st or 2nd in the group will probably come down to the Tyrone game in the final round in Omagh. Jim Gavin’s men have done it and won it all in the last few years so they should progress to the semi-finals easily enough. Prediction: Will reach semi-finals.
Cork: Cork’s reward for beating Laois last weekend is a game against the Dubs in Croke Park. In a way, they have nothing to lose in the game as many will be expecting a big Dublin win. They showed they can still mix it with the big boys though after a good performance against Kerry in Munster. Will target the Roscommon and Tyrone games. they play Tyrone in Croke Park and Roscommon in Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Prediction: Exit Championship
Roscommon: Anthony Cunningham’s side will come in fresh to the Super 8’s following a few weeks break since provincial success. Big game against Tyrone in their opening game at Dr. Hyde Park which will determine how their Super 8’s goes. Play Dublin in Croke Park and Cork in Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Prediction: Exit Championship
Tyrone: Tyrone could have a big say on where Sam Maguire is going over the next few weeks. They face Roscommon away from home in their first outing, before making a trip to Croke Park to take on Cork. Two wins there would nearly guarantee them a semi-final spot. A final home game against Dublin also looks mouth-watering. Prediction: Will reach semi-finals.
Prediction for Semi-Finals: Dublin v Donegal and Kerry v Tyrone