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Donegal have edge on Orchard in scrap for survival


(Ballybofey, Tomorrow, 2.30)

CALCULATORS at the ready ...

First the easy bit. Donegal must win or face immediate relegation to Division 2 and although two points doesn't automatically ensure their safety, it would take a hugely unfortunate set of outcomes elsewhere to send them back down.

Armagh's situation is wholly more complicated. A win keeps them in the top flight and if two of Dublin, Down and Mayo lose, they could yet make the semi-finals. Lose and they're out. Kieran McKeever's all-clear and the return of a handful of Crossmaglen players -- including Jamie Clarke -- boosts their hand considerably.

It will be tight but we just about fancy Donegal to do the needy.

ODDS: Donegal 10/11, Draw 13/2, Armagh 6/5

VERDICT: Donegal


(Portlaoise, Tomorrow, 2.30)

THE complexities of this fixture best surmise the unpredictable natures of this year's Allianz Football League. Both of these teams enter this final round in the hunt for a semi-final spot and similarly threatened by relegation. Laois might be bottom of the table but do possess something of a safety blanket. That their two wins have come against Donegal and Armagh means they would survive if they finish level on points with either.

Down are showing something close to form and it would be a surprise if they went down from here. Laois might not be so lucky.

ODDS: Laois 11/10, Draw 13/2, Down EVS



(Tralee, Tomorrow, 2.30)

WHOLLY more straight-forward here. Kerry have topped the table and will play the eventual fourth-place finishing side in the League semi-finals whatever happens in Tralee tomorrow.

Duly, Jack O'Connor has instigated a spate of changes, the most noteworthy of which sees Colm Cooper return for the first time since last year's All-Ireland final.

Mayo, meanwhile, need a win to finish in the top four and after last week's humbling of the Sam Maguire holders in Castlebar, you wouldn't bet against it, the qualifier being that Kerry have always been experts at bursting a green and red bubble.

ODDS: Kerry 2/5, Draw 15/2, Mayo 5/2