Phase 2 of the Super 8s takes place this weekend with Croke Park the venue for all four games. Here are our previews:
Saturday, July 20th
All-Ireland SFC quarter-final phase 2
Dublin v Roscommon, Croke Park, 7pm – Sky
When these two met in last year’s inaugural Super 8s it was Dublin that inflicted a 4-24 to 2-16 hammering on Roscommon in Phase 3.
Now the two sides return to Croke Park with the Connacht champions needing a result to keep the pressure on headed into the final phase of Group 2.
The Dubs were pushed but never fazed by Cork last weekend as they went on to bang in five goals against the Rebels and another victory at headquarters will see them with a foot in the semi-finals.
The Rossies are heading for the capital 20/1 outsiders and, needless to say, will need something special to upset those massive odds with Jim Gavin’s men knowing they’re just four games away if a historic five-in-a-row feat is to be their destiny.
Cork v Tyrone, Croke Park, 5pm – Sky
The early throw-in on Saturday sees north and south crossing swords in the capital with favourites Tyrone hoping to continue their winning run towards another All-Ireland semi-final slot.
Cork stand in the way of the Red Hands this weekend and they’ll be returning to Croke Park with plenty of optimism after a promising showing against Dublin the last day which fell apart in the final quarter.
The Rebels are 7/2 here and there’ll be some that will fancy those odds given their showing the last day – not to mention the fact that a Muster U20 crown was picked up during the week after Keith Ricken’s dynamic side put on a clinic against a fancied Kerry outfit at Pairc Ui Rinn.
Killian O’Hanlon is back at centre-field for the Rebels after missing the Dublin defeat through injury, while Sean Powter and Eoghan McSweeney return to the bench.
Tyrone boss Mickey Harte has said ahead of this one that they’re all chasing for second place bar Dublin in Group 2 and a win here would go a long way to securing a last four berth.
Sunday, July 21st
All-Ireland SFC quarter-final phase 2
Kerry v Donegal, Croke Park, 4pm – RTE
This one looks to be the clash of the weekend on paper as some of the best players in the country will be on show at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon.
David Clifford and his Kerry team mates shot down Mayo with an impressive showing in Killarney in Phase 1 and return to HQ for the first time since their league final loss to the same opposition to battle with the Ulster champions.
Declan Bonner’s camp was rocked in mid-week by a devastating injury to key defender Eoghan Ban Gallagher picked up in training and that ankle fracture means that the Killybegs man will be sidelined for the remainder of Donegal’s season.
The Tir Chonaill men needed to dig deep against Meath in Ballybofey the last day and you get the feeling they’ll need to go even deeper against the Munster kingpins
It’s one that could go right down to the wire and the Anglo-Celt Cup holders get the slight nod to make what would be a colossal step towards the semi-finals.
Mayo v Meath, Croke Park, 2pm – RTE
The stakes don’t come much higher than Croke Park on Sunday for these two as defeat all but spells the end of their season.
Mayo fell flat in Killarney in Phase 2 while Meath ran Donegal close before the hosts finished with a flourish in Ballybofey, leaving these two in need of points fast.
They haven’t had a summer meeting in an even decade while a win for Mayo over Sunday’s opposition would mark the Westerners’ first in the championship against the Royal County since the 1951 All-Ireland final.
James Horan will be without key defender Paddy Durcan once again for the trip to the capital while their Leinster counterparts have a clean bill of health.
Follow the hoganstand.com match tracker this weekend for live coverage of Dublin v Roscommon, Cork v Tyrone, Kerry v Donegal and Mayo v Meath from the Super 8s.Tweet