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Moyna: Monaghan are ideal opposition for Dublin

JIM GAVIN faces two tough selection calls before he names his for Saturday's All-Ireland SFC quarter-final with Monaghan after training tonight.

Fit-again Jonny Cooper is almost certain to come straight back into his first XV in defence, although which man loses out is less immediately obvious. Mick Fitzsimons deputised at corner-back in the Leinster final after the Na Fianna man was ruled out with a quad injury.

"He returned the following weekend, seven days after," explained Gavin, at this morning's press briefing, of Cooper.

"He was involved in a full contact (game) then. Soft tissue injury on the quad. He has recovered fully from that. That's behind him now."

In his absence, Fitzsimons drew high praise for his handling of Stephen Bray, keeping the Navan O'Mahony's man to two points from play.

Cooper, however, has been arguably Dublin's most consistent defender this year.

Gavin could well choose to deploy his former All-Ireland winning Under 21 captain at centre-back, a position he occupied on four occasions during this year's successful League defence.

In that alignment, Nicky Devereux is the man most likely to lose his starting jersey, with James McCarthy and the recently recalled Jack McCaffrey in situ on the wings.

Gavin's 2012 All-Ireland winning centre-back, Ger Brennan, remains out injured with an ankle injury, although Gavin gave a more optimistic prognosis on the St Vincent's man's chances of playing for Dublin this year.

"Ger is back full training," he stated. "He's back playing football. He has returned to training. Return to perform is another milestone that he has to get up to. So that is very much in Ger's hands and he's working very hard at that."

Gavin added, however: "The game is just a little bit too soon for him at the moment."

Gavin's second major selection conundrum comes in attack, with Paddy Andrews back in strong contention after sitting out the Leinster final.

Andrews missed some of the preparation for the 16-point win over Meath due to a wrist injury, although his manager insisted he had been available if required.

Paul Mannion, who was subbed at half-time against Meath, appears the Dublin forward most vulnerable to losing his spot.


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