Dublin v Monaghan, 6pm, Saturday, Croke Park
The reigning Leinster and All-Ireland Champions will once again take to the field of Croke Park for an All-Ireland quarter final. The Dubs had a good win over Kildare in the Leinster Final, while Monaghan have been building steadily in the qualifiers and got good wins under their belt against Cavan, Fermanagh, Carlow, Wexford and Down. However, it will be a massive step up in class on Saturday for Malachy O’Rourke’s men especially in what is said to be a sold out Croke Park.
Dublin come into the game on the back of a nine points win over Kildare in the Leinster Final, and in truth they weren’t really tested in their Leinster campaign, they beat Carlow, hammered Westmeath and were coasting in the last 20 minutes against Kildare. One bright player for them this year has been Cuala man Con O’Callaghan who is surely an almost cert for young footballer of the year. Jim Gavin has been without Paul Flynn and Philly McMahon the last few games and these are expected to be fit for selection come Sunday. Brian Fenton, Ciaran Kilkenny and Cian O’Sullivan are all key players and these will all be looking to make a good impression yet again.
As already mentioned Monaghan come into the game on a roll on the back of several qualifier wins, most recently against Down last weekend at the same venue. In that game they were convincing winners, the Hughes brothers. Kieran and Darren were superb, Conor McManus was his usual excellent self, while Fintan Kelly, Conor McCarthy also played well. Jack McCarron could also play a big role in this game.
Is there any chance for Monaghan? The bookies see this as a whitewash in terms of an easy Dublin win and have the handicap at -9 once more just as it was for the Kildare/Dublin game and look how that turned that out. If Dublin get a run on Monaghan it could be a long evening at GAA headquarters for the Farney supporters.
Dublin are massive favourites and are once again unbackable at 1/14 , while Monaghan are underdogs at 9/1. Can only see Dublin winning this game and the margin been 9 or 10 points at full time.