Thursday 27 April 2017

Eamonn Fitzmaurice set to hold Colm Cooper in reserve for Dublin clash

Gaelic Games​

Cooper missed the All-Ireland quarter-final win over Clare after damaging his collarbone. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick
Cooper missed the All-Ireland quarter-final win over Clare after damaging his collarbone. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Kerry are tipped to hold star forward Colm 'Gooch' Cooper in reserve when they name their team tonight for Sunday's sold-out clash with Dublin.

Cooper missed the All-Ireland quarter-final win over Clare after damaging his collarbone in the first half of the Munster final win over Tipperary in Killarney.

And Kingdom boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice is expected to keep the Dr Crokes ace on the bench for the Croke Park showdown as they look to match the heavy artillery Dublin are able to unload from their bench late in the day.

Speculation has been building all week as to what side Kerry will pick to try to stop the Dubs recording a fourth consecutive championship win over the Kingdom, with captain Bryan Sheehan another expected to return to the starting line-up.

Inclusion

Sheehan's inclusion is expected to free up Kieran Donaghy for a role closer to goal, with the St Mary's man coming into midfield alongside David Moran.

Read More: Peter Canavan: An opportunity for Kerry to grasp with both hands

There are suggestions too that Paul Murphy, who has been operating at centre-forward for much of the year, could be restored to defence. Murphy won an All-Star in 2014 as a back; should he shift to defence, Tadhg Morley, who made his championship debut earlier this year, could be the one to make way.

Dublin's main concern rests on the fitness of defender James McCarthy. Jim Gavin has insisted that the Ballymun man is fit to play but made similar claims in the build-up to the Donegal game, in which he did not feature.

However, it is understood that McCarthy will be restored to the defence with Ciaran Kilkenny released back to his more familiar role in the half-forward line.

Paddy Andrews could be the one to lose out. Paul Mannion, who hit 1-1 from play when introduced against Donegal, is expected to start on the bench.

Irish Independent

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