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Lilywhites might suffer if Kerry's young guns click

KILDARE v KERRY

(Newbridge, Tomorrow, 2.30)

WHATEVER Jason Ryan's views, this one comes with large consequences.

For context, Kildare and Kerry have two points apiece, hovering just above relegation-fodder Westmeath.

Both of these teams still have to play the pointless Westies and, thus, a loss here for Kildare would leave them needing both points from their other remaining game, a trip to Derry.

Not easy. How they have collectively digested the last two weekends is key now.

A mugging from Tyrone and a battering from the Dubs won't have done much for their self-esteem, while Kerry looked All-Ireland contenders again last Sunday in gleefully hammering Tyrone.

Kildare's full-back line struggled badly with the blue triumvirate of Kevin McManamon, Eoghan O'Gara and Paddy Andrews in Croke Park last Saturday and any such flailing near James O'Donoghue is sure to be equally fatal.

And there is a growing suspicion that these Kerry players were pretty good all along, they just couldn't get a game with so many legends still occupying the jerseys.

Bryan Sheehan kicked seven from seven placed balls last week and, if Kildare are in any way sloppy, he'll punish them severely.

ODDS: Kildare EVS, Draw 15/2, Kerry EVS,

VERDICT: Kerry

TYRONE v WESTMEATH

(Omagh, Tomorrow, 2.0)

WHEN your most (only?) iconic player feels compelled to publicly apologise on behalf of the team for crimes against football, you know you've had a bad afternoon in Killarney.

News that Matty Donnelly (easily Tyrone's second most dynamic forward these days) suffered a grade one medial ligament tear and is likely to miss a month's action won't have helped.

That Brian McGuigan felt compelled to vocally lambast Tyrone's 'adoring' public for their social media assassination of Barry Tierney – the man who suffered the brunt of James O'Donoghue's excellence last week – tells part of a tale of local unrest.

Still, Westmeath are everyone's doormat in Division 1 this year and they'll provide a soothing balm to Tyrone's open sores.

ODDS: Tyrone 1/12, Draw 14/1, Westmeath 7/1

VERDICT: Tyrone

MAYO v CORK

(Castlebar, Tomorrow, 2.30)

MAYO always do this.

Early on in spring, they assume the collective gait of Division 1 panderers but, by the end, make good on some of their promise.

It's a marathon, not etc.

Brian Cuthbert has made a raft of changes to his team after they almost managed to botch an 11-point advantage over Down in Páirc Uí Rinn last week.

The most interesting aspects of these alterations are Aidan Walsh and Eoin Cadogan returning from hurling secondment and Colm O'Neill starting his first game since cruciate number three struck.

It promises to be a belter, but Mayo are gnarled and grizzly at this stage and tend, more often than not, to win at home.

ODDS: Mayo 4/6, Draw 15/2, Cork 6/4

VERDICT: Mayo


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