Kerry v Mayo, Sunday, 4 pm, Fitzgerald Stadium
This is a massive game for both sides and probably the pick of the Super 8’s games this weekend. A win here would set either team up nicely with games against Donegal and Meath to come in the group. The game throws in at 4 pm and is live on RTE.
Kerry come into the game on the back of two games in Munster where they beat Clare 1-15 to 0-13 in the semi-final, before been pushed all the way by Ronan McCarthy’s Cork to win bu a goal, 1-19 to 3-10. I watched that game and to be honest Kerry does have some weaknesses in defence, they conceded 3 goals so questions have to be asked, will the defence be better here against a Mayo forward line that hit form against Galway? Well, we just have to wait and see because they will be tested with James Carr, Kevin McLoughlin and Cillian O’Connor. Peter Keane will look to Tadgh Morley, Gavin White and Jack Sherwood in defence. Tom O’Sullivan was the only defender that impressed me in the win over Cork he scored a good goal and a nice point and got forward at every opportunity. David Moran and Jack Barry will likely continue in midfield. David Clifford, Sean O’Shea and Stephen O’Brien will be key men in the forwards. James O’Donoghue could also start.
Mayo come into the game on the back of a good win over Galway. It was a case of 7th time lucky as they have lost the last seven games between the sides. What I like about Mayo is they keep coming back year after year. They have the players, they have a superb coach and great supporters. They just need Sam Maguire now. Mayo beat New York in Connacht, before going on to lose a Connacht semi-final to Roscommon by a point. However, they won three games in a row in the qualifiers to reach the super 8’s they beat Down 1-16 to 1-11, they beat Armagh 2-13 to 1-15 and then last weekend beat Galway 2-13 to 1-13. James Horan will look to Keith Higgins, Colm Boyle, Paddy Durcan and Lee Keegan in defence, in midfield Aidan O’Shea will have to have another big game. In attack Darren Coen has impressed me this summer, with Cillian O’Connor finding form having returned from injury and James Carr in form Mayo could cause the Kingdom defence problems.
Last Five Championship Meetings
2017 Mayo 2-16 Kerry 0-17 (All-Ireland semi-final replay)
2017 Mayo 2-14 Kerry 2-14 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2014 Kerry 3-16 Mayo 3-13 (All-Ireland semi-final replay)
2014 Kerry 1-16 Mayo 1-16 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2011 Kerry 1-20 Mayo 1-11 (All-Ireland semi-final)
They last met in championship football in 2017 when Mayo won by 5 points in an All-Ireland semi-final. Mayo would go on to lose the final to Dublin. The sides have met twice this year in the Allianz League, Mayo winning both games. They won by 1-10 to 0-11 in a Round 6 games, before they won the league final 3-11 t0 2-10. Sean O’Shea is Kerry’s top scorer with 0-13 (0-11f), while Darren Coen is Mayo’s with 0-13 all from play.
Kerry: Shane Ryan, Jason Foley, Tadgh Morley, Tom O’Sullivan, Paul Murphy, Jack Sherwood, Gavin White, David Moran, Diarmuid O’Connor, Micheal Burns, Sean O’Shea, Stephen O’Brien, David Clifford, Paul Geaney, Darragh Moynihan
Mayo: David Clarke; Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Stephen Coen; Donal Vaughan, Aidan O’Shea; Fionn McDonagh, Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty; Cillian O’Connor, Darren Coen, James Carr.
Kerry are 4/7 favourites, while Mayo are 15/8. The draw 8/1. I would back the draw here as I feel it will be very close.