Thursday 18 January 2018

Paddy McBrearty will need a hand if Donegal are to upset the odds

The bright light against Cork was the performance of Paddy McBrearty. Photo: Sportsfile
The bright light against Cork was the performance of Paddy McBrearty. Photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

I've been waiting on a game like this Donegal-Dublin clash for a while.

This is a match where Dublin will be tested and we'll get to see exactly how hard the absence of Rory O'Carroll and Jack McCaffrey has hit them.

Look, I don't care what anyone says - they just haven't been asked any questions to this point.

And you can't lose two All-Stars from your defence and have another big player in James McCarthy going into a big game less than 100pc match fit and not feel the pinch.

No matter how good you are. And Dublin are very good.

Now, I have to say also that I don't feel like Dublin are motoring that well just now. Outside of Brian Fenton, the rest have more to find in terms of form.

And I think Donegal will be able to frustrate them. But frustrating them and beating them are two very different things.

You might be able to keep some of the Dublin forwards quiet but you won't keep them all down for 70 minutes.

And I wonder do Donegal have the legs like they once had to turn defence into attack in an instant.

I think they are still capable of the sort of form that saw them win the All-Ireland in 2012, but only in patches. I'm not sure they can reproduce that sort of manic commitment to the thing along with the cold efficiency in front of goal that they'll need to win tonight.

The bright light for them against Cork was the performance of Paddy McBrearty.

He'll come in for special attention tonight. It will be up to the rest of the fellas in the Donegal attack to ask questions of Dublin's defence to give them a chance of an upset.

Irish Independent

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