It’s Round 3 of the Allianz Football League this weekend and here we preview all 16 games down for decision.
Saturday, February 8th
FL Division 1 round 3
Dublin v Monaghan, Croke Park, 7pm - eir Sport2/RTE2
Seamus McEnaney’s Monaghan side head for the capital on Saturday looking to make it back-to-back wins after coming out on top against Tyrone in Castleblayney last time out.
McEnaney has made two changes for the trip south that see Drew Wylie and Christopher McGuinness come in at right corner-back and full-forward respectively.
Kieran Hughes (suspended) and Jack McCarron are the players to miss out while on the opposite end the Dubs have yet to start well and truly humming in the early weeks of the Dessie Farrell era, having drawn Kerry in Round 1 before coming through a drab affair with Mayo in Castlebar.
Entering as 2/9 favourites here, the All-Ireland champions could well light it up at Croker when the Farney men come to visit.
FL Division 2 round 3
Armagh v Kildare, Athletic Grounds, 7pm - eir Sport1
Both these sides suffered set-backs in their early promotion ambitions in Round 2 and will be keen to get things back on track at the Athletic Grounds on Saturday night.
Armagh paid the price for a first-half ‘no show’ in Portlaoise the last day and will surely want to hit the ground running when Kildare visit them looking for their second win of the campaign, after having been stunned by Clare.
If both sides bring their ‘A Game’, this one has the potential to be a thriller.
FL Division 4 round 3
Waterford v Wexford, Fraher Field, 7pm
Paul Galvin’s first win as Wexford manager arrived last weekend when they grabbed a home victory against Carlow and the Slaneysiders are expected to maintain their winning ways when they head for Dungarvan.
Sunday, February 9th
FL Division 1 round 3
Meath v Mayo, Pairc Tailteann, 2pm - Live on TG4 Youtube
It has been a rough start to life in Division 1 for Andy McEntee’s Meath side and Sunday sees Division 1 champions Mayo coming to Navan also seeking a first win of the campaign.
Injuries and absentees have affected both these teams in the early rounds and the table never lies as they presently occupy the bottom end heading into Round 3.
Mayo boss James Horan has opted for four changes to his side for his one, with James McCormack, Eoin O’Donoghue, Tommy Conroy and Kevin McLoughlin all coming in to battle the Royals on their home turf.
When these two met last in the Super 8s back in July, it was a late onslaught that saw the Westerners to a nine-point win but the margin looks set to be closer this time round.
Donegal v Galway, Letterkenny, 2pm - Deferred coverage on TG4
Galway journey north this weekend looking to inflict Donegal with their first defeat of the campaign and there’ll be plenty that fancy them to get the job done in Letterkenny.
Padraic Joyce’s side were perhaps unlucky not to take something from their loss to Kerry in Tralee the last day and, with the likes of Shane Walsh and Damien Comer in their pack, will be confident of getting back to winning ways against the Ulster champions.
Sean Kelly is set to come into the Tribesmen’s defence from the defeat to the Kingdom while former minor captain Mikey Boyle is selected to start at left corner-forward.
As for Donegal, they currently sit top of Division 1 two rounds in and will soon be welcoming ace attacker Paddy McBrearty back into their line-up after the Kilcar man’s stint in the US.
Tyrone v Kerry, Healy Park, 2pm - Live on TG4
The Tyrone camp received a massive boost this week with the news that All Star forward Cathal McShane will be staying put for the foreseeable future after turning down a contract with AFL side Adelaide.
McShane’s employment inside his home county was a deciding factor for the 24-year-old and manager Mickey Harte could decide to throw him into the mix as Kerry come to visit Healy Park.
The Red Hands are looking to bounce back from their derby defeat to Monaghan last weekend and face a rematch of last year’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final here.
Kerry are 4/6 favourites but must make do without key defender Brian Ó Beaglaoich until March at the earliest after the An Ghaeltacht clubman suffered a leg injury in the draw opener with Dublin at Croke Park.
FL Division 2 round 3
Westmeath v Fermanagh, TEG Cusack Park, 2pm
Jack Cooney and his Westmeath players will want to forget large portions of last Saturday night’s second-half display against Cavan.
The Lake men surrendered five and four-point leads at different stages at Kingspan Breffni before succumbing to a four-point loss and now face a tricky one in welcoming Ryan McMenamin’s Fermanagh side to Mullingar.
The Ernesiders got up and running the last day thanks to Ciaran Corrigan’s late winner against Roscommon in Enniskillen and would love to make it two from two when they hit the midlands on Sunday.
Laois v Cavan, MW Hire O'Moore Park, 2pm
Following their six-point win over Armagh last weekend, there can be no question that Laois are the form side in Division 2 at present as they get set to welcome Cavan on Sunday as 8/13 favourites.
Micheál Quirke’s side came up with a scorching first-half display to blow away the Orchard men last time out and Cavan’s defence will need to be on their toes if they are to limit the damage Mark Barry and Evan O’Carroll can cause.
The Breffni men pulled off a superb comeback win over Westmeath in Round 2 but are still without some of their best – with wing forward Niall Murray recently being added to the list of season casualties – and will require a better performance all round if they are to halt the O’Moore County’s momentum.
Roscommon v Clare, Dr Hyde Park, 2pm
Clare tore up the script on Kildare in Round 2 and will look to do the same when they travel to take on Connacht champions Roscommon on Sunday.
Last weekend’s late loss to Fermanagh leaves the Rossies winless heading into the third round of fixtures and they’re 2/5 favourites to take both points against the Banner men.
Manager Anthony Cunningham will have to make do without Shane Killoran (ankle) and Ronan Daly (spleen) for the rest of the league, while attacker Conor Cox looks set to miss out again with a wrist injury.
FL Division 3 round 3
Derry v Tipperary, Celtic Park, 1pm
Derry led Down for long stages last Saturday night before eventually falling to a two-point defeat in Newry, leaving Rory Gallagher’s men still looking for their first win of the campaign.
Many will fancy them to pick up their first pair of points when an undefeated Tipperary make the trek to Celtic Park, where the hosts will be out to make home advantage count.
Longford v Leitrim, Glennon Bros Pearse Park, 2pm
Longford are 1/3 favourites for this derby clash as they look to inflict Leitrim with their second defeat of the campaign.
After drawing with Derry on opening weekend, the Connacht side fell to Cork by nine points in Carrick-on-Shannon and face another tall order against their neighbours.
Louth v Offaly, Gaelic Grounds, 2pm
This Leinster derby hits Drogheda on Sunday with both teams looking to kick-start their league campaign after two rounds.
Louth currently sit pointless at the bottom of Division 3 and will be in for a battle when Offaly visit looking to add to their tally of one and move up the table.
Cork v Down, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 2pm
The big clash in Division 3 this weekend sees Down make the long trip south looking to make it two wins on the bounce against Ronan McCarthy’s Cork.
The Mourne men edged a battle with Derry last weekend but face a strong Rebels side which has brought Damien Gore back into its line-up after the young attacker suffered injury in the first round win over Offaly.
FL Division 4 round 3
Carlow v Limerick, Netwatch Cullen Park, 2pm
Carlow will require a vastly improved display from last weekend’s loss to Wexford when joint-leaders Limerick come to visit them on Sunday and Turlough O’Brien’s men certainly have the talent in their ranks to end the Shannonsiders’ winning run.
Wicklow v Sligo, Aughrim, 2pm
Paul Taylor’s Sligo side head east looking to make it three wins on the bounce and maintain their early bid for an immediate return to Division 3.
London v Antrim, Ruislip, 2pm
Antrim got edged out by Sligo in Round 2 and are red-hot favourites to get back to winning ways when they travel to Ruislip this weekend.
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