CIAN O'Sullivan has been handed a defensive starting role for Sunday's All-Ireland SFC showdown with Cork in Croke Park (3.30). The Kilmacud Crokes defender comes in for Barry Cahill in the only change to the side that beat Tyrone by five points in the last round.
O'Sullivan came on at half-time in that match and made a positive contribution in his first appearance since the Leinster opening round defeat of Wexford when he pulled up early on with a hamstring injury. Cahill's omission means the former All Star is dropped for a second time this year after losing his place for Dublin's first foray into the qualifiers against Tipperary.
The St Brigid's man was reinstated to the team for the defeat of Armagh and held on to his place for the victories over Louth and Tyrone but his early withdrawal coupled with O'Sullivan's performance fuelled speculation that the latter would get the nod when Pat Gilroy named his team for the meeting with the Rebels.
The Dubs boss has resisted any further change, however, meaning Paul Flynn, Eamonn Fennell and Conal Keaney all stay on the bench.
Former Dublin captain and All Star Coman Goggins reckons any talk of 'bonus territory' should be banished from the Dublin dressing room. Gilroy stated after Dublin's defeat of Tyrone that the victory had exceeded personal expectations but Goggins has warned that such talk could have a negative effect on players.
"Beating Tyrone probably was a bonus in that a lot of people didn't see it coming," said Goggins. "But as soon as the game was won, the focus at training should have been on the chance that's there now to make an All-Ireland final. Empty the tanks. Go out and play.
"There's no favourites or underdogs here. You go out and do everything you possibly can and there's a spot in the All-Ireland final for you. That's the message that should be portrayed. If Cork turn it on, certainly, they have the ability to win matches. But Dublin have nothing to fear," added Goggins.
DUBLIN SF v Cork: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, R O'Carroll, P McMahon; K Nolan, G Brennan, C O'Sullivan; R McConnell, MD Macauley; N Corkery, A Brogan, B Cullen; D Henry, E O'Gara, B Brogan.