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Big Preview: Allianz Football League Round 5

The football league is starting to take shape. Galway visit Mayo, while Kerry and Monaghan clash in two of the big games this weekend.

Saturday 2 March

Allianz FL Division 1

Tyrone v Cavan, Healy Park, 7pm

Cavan finally, and deservedly, got off the mark against Roscommon last week. The same can be said for Tyrone who made light work of Monaghan. That result you’d imagine should finally kick-start Tyrone’s campaign, who still have loads to play for. They should have the better of the Breifne County in Healy Park under lights.

Verdict: Tyrone

Mayo v Galway, MacHale Park, 7.15pm (Eir Sport)

You can’t beat this all Connaught affair, a fixture that always throws up some ferocious battles. Mayo were brought back down to size last week with a fairly drab performance against Dublin, while Galway were narrow one-point losers at home to Kerry. Nothing should get this Mayo side back off the apron than seeing Galway waltz into MacHale Park.

Verdict: Mayo

Allianz FL Division 2

Tipperary v Cork, Semple Stadium, 7pm

Tipperary’s play-off hopes aren’t entirely in the water, although they’ll need a win against Cork on Saturday night. The Rebels’ poor form has been well documented so there’s no need to expand much further than that, but is definitely a potential banana skin for the Premier County give the team’s history. Tipp will have to be wary of complacency, but Semple Stadium on a Saturday night should make for a good atmosphere and a decent performance.

Verdict: Tipperary

Donegal v Armagh, Ballybofey, 7.15pm (Eir Sport 2)

Two sides that really need a win to keep their play-off hopes alive. Donegal have now posted two losses in a row after a fine start and meet an ever so slightly improving Armagh side who had a nice win over Tipp last week. Can Donegal stop the slide, as Armagh just find their feet? This should be decent game and a good choice for the television.

Verdict: Armagh

Allianz FL Division 3

Carlow v Louth, Netwatch Cullen Park, 7pm

Louth rising? They stuck five goals past Sligo last week in an astonishing win to lay their marker as the team to beat in Division 3. Carlow may not have the scoring prowess to keep up with the Wee County.

Verdict: Louth

Down v Offaly, Pairc Esler, 7pm

A nice win against Carlow last week got Offaly off the root of the table. Down have promotion aspirations and should have far too much in store for the Faithful County, especially on home turf.

Verdict: Down

Laois v Longford, O’Moore Park, 7pm

Laois, a model of inconsistency, host Longford who were flying until a very poor result at home to Down last week where they shipped three goals and scored just eight points. That will give Laois a pile of confidence going into this that they can get the win over Longford, and they should have the scoring prowess to deliver two points.

Verdict: Laois

Allianz FL Division 4

Waterford v Antrim, WIT Arena, 12.30pm

Neither side has made their mark on the basement division, but Waterford’s five goal haul last week against Wexford is interesting.

Verdict: Waterford

Limerick v Derry, Gaelic Grounds, 1pm

Limerick haven’t posted a win since round two. Bringing Derry into the Gaelic Grounds is interesting, but in wet conditions the Ulster side should have far too much to continue their awesome form in Division 4.

Verdict: Derry

Wicklow v Wexford, Aughrim, 2pm

A loss here for Wexford could glue them to the bottom of the league. Wicklow, although the top two now looks beyond them, should have much the better of the Yellowbellies.

Verdict: Wicklow

Sunday 3 March

Allianz FL Division 1

Roscommon v Dublin, Dr Hyde Park, 2pm (TG4)

The Dubs are back on track after some hiccups along the way. Roscommon have been up and down and the loss to Cavan is damaging for their Division 1 aspirations. The Rossies will make Dublin work for their win, but the gap in quality is too stark.

Verdict: Dublin

Kerry v Monaghan, Fitzgerald Stadium, 3pm (TG4 – deferred)

Top and unbeaten in Division 1, Kerry bring Monaghan down to Fitzgerald Stadium, who have now lost three straight after their amazing opening win against the Dubs. Kerry are flying it and are showing no signs of stopping, but expect Moanghan to make it close.

Verdict: Kerry

Allianz FL Division 2

Meath v Kildare, Pairc Tailteann, 2pm

It’s great to see Meath winning games and this one makes for an exciting Leinster battle that we kind of wish was on television. The Royals win against Cork last week was impressive, while Kildare were excellent against Clare. A win for the Lilywhites will throw the division wide open, but we’re backing Meath to have just a bit more confidence in this one, and a home venue is a bonus.

Verdict: Meath

Fermanagh v Clare, Brewster Park, 2pm

What a win for the Ernesiders last week against Donegal. They may not be pretty, but Rory Gallagher’s men are effective and that should roll into this home tie against Clare. A win for the Banner will keep them in the promotion conversation, but this is a tough task against a teak side.

Verdict: Fermanagh

Allianz FL Division 3

Sligo v Westmeath, Collooney, 2pm

Poor Sligo. Sinking without a trace, the five goals they shipped to Louth last week wasn’t a good look. Westmeath are right up there in the promotion conversation, with a good win against Laois last week. They should have far too much for this dismal Sligo team.

Verdict: Westmeath

Allianz FL Division 4

Leitrim v London, Pairc Sean MacDiarmada, 1pm

Everybody’s favourite Division 4 side are still unbeaten. Don’t expect London to change that.

Verdict: Leitrim

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