Football

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Kildare v Armagh, Saturday, 7pm, Croke Park

The second big game at GAA headquarters on Saturday evening is the meeting of Kildare and Armagh. Kieran McGeeney will be relishing this game against a Kildare side he used to coach and there is sure to be a lot of passion when both teams collide.  Armagh had a poor enough Ulster campaign but they have got back on track with wins over Tipperary and Westmeath in the qualifiers. Kildare performed well against Dublin and only for the two goals conceded in the opening 10 minutes they may have been a lot closer than 9 points at full time.

Armagh manager McGeeney will look to players like Jamie Clarke, Ethan Rafferty, Oisin O’Neill and Niall Grimley. Clarke was sent off on a black card early Westmeath so he will be looking to redeem himself with a good performance. Kildare to their credit had also some fine performance, Kevin Feely was absolutely outstanding at midfield against the Dubs, while players like Paddy Murphy, Johnny Byrne and Cathal McNally all played well. Niall Kelly was unusually quiet and he may have more to offer in this game as well.

The game is very hard to call but the bookmakers see Kildare as 4/9 favourites while Armagh are 5/2 to progress. Going by the performance of Kildare against Dublin, I think they will be 4 or 5 points to strong for Armagh.

Verdict: Kildare

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