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Dubs to fall in semi - Devenney

IT'S the prospective All-Ireland semi-final over which the football world are already salivating, presuming Dublin and Donegal do the necessary in their quarter-finals in Croke Park this Saturday night.

The last two All-Ireland winners, the champions of Leinster and Ulster and, most enthrallingly of all, teams with diametrically opposed world views on the most effective way to win a match.

Yes, it's (potentially) 'Dublin v Donegal. Part II: 2011, all over again.'

The result?


"Donegal would win," says Brendan Devenney without a millisecond's hesitation. "No doubt."

Their former forward elaborates: "I just think it's easier to lock down a '45' than open it up.

"And this strength in depth that Dublin have ... if their top six can't break the defence, the other lads coming in aren't going to have much joy.

"I think when there's players coming off the bench, it suits when a game is opening up.

"But you see with Donegal, it never does open up.

"So I just think … there is a lot of hype ... and if it does end up happening, I think Donegal will be out to say 'we're going to stop your forward line'. And I think Dublin have their own problems in defence."

He goes on ...

"Outside of Michael Darragh Macauley, they don't know who to be playing alongside him in midfield.

"I think we haven't really seen (Michael) Murphy and (Colm) McFadden shine that much this year. And if they were to play well, I just think Dublin's defence would relish that forward line.

"I think you saw in 2011 ... I know they're different kind of teams from then, both Dublin and Donegal ... but you saw how hard that defence is to break down.

"And you saw it again against Monaghan (in the Ulster final).

"Monaghan have a good forward line. I think when (Vinny) Corey hit that point, it was 43 or 44 minutes and I think it was just their second point from play.

"I know Dublin might get through them a bit more.

"But Donegal were double scores better than Monaghan. I'd love to see the game too. But I think Donegal will win it."


All of which is to assume - as most are - that Monaghan's slight slippage in 2014 will see them chewed up by this all-singing, all-dancing Dublin scoring machine.

And that Armagh, for all their gargantuan and unexpected progress this year, are a little too like Donegal without actually being as good or as experienced as them.

"Maybe in a way, I would rather it wasn't Monaghan playing Dublin," Devenney continues. "Because Monaghan will play a bit like Donegal.

"I certainly think they will give Dublin a good game. I thought Monaghan were going to be better this year.

"The last day, Kildare should have won the match. So I don't know if they're ready for Dublin.

"But it will give Dublin a bit of an Ulster game before Donegal, which would probably play into their hands if it was to happen. Not to be disrespectful to Armagh and Monaghan."