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Kingdom set to conquer Mayo

FOR the sake of balance (and Mayo sanity), we'll avoid all references to Kerry/Mayo matches in Croke Park prior to last year's All-Ireland semi.

Nine points separated them in the end, with the Kingdom's greater experience -- and a tour de force from Colm Cooper -- making the scoreline more flattering that it had hinted earlier on.

More recently, the sides drew in Tralee last week, but quite how much solace James Horan can take from that result is open to question, given Kerry's wholly shallow selection and despite the fact that Mayo finished with 14 men.

Reports that Aidan O'Shea is out for six weeks with a hamstring injury have been contradicted by Horan's team selection, which lists O'Shea in midfield alongside James Gibbons.

The other changes from Tralee see Kevin Keane and Colm Boyle come into defence while Conor Mortimer replaces Cillian O'Connor in attack.

Predictably, Kerry's line-out is unrecognisible from Tralee.

Manager Jack O'Connor has brought seven players in, all of whom could be categorised as frontliners -- Brendan Kealy, Marc Ó Sé, Aidan O'Mahony, Anthony Maher, Paul Galvin, Darran O'Sullivan and Declan O'Sullivan all start.

Pick your cliché: Mayo don't perform in Croke Park -- Kerry find it hard not to. It's only the league, the form from which approximately nothing can be deciphered.

Any way you add it up, Kerry have approached this league with an acute sense of purpose, and with so many stars on the pitch they won't get caught by their ritual whipping boys.

ODDS: Kerry 1/3, Draw 9/1, Mayo 3/1

VERDICT: Kerry


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