Sunday 21 January 2018

The final jury: Our experts assess positives and negatives that could decide tomorrow’s clash

Martin Breheny: Anthony Maher. It's difficult for new midfielders to get credit in Kerry -- this guy is under-rated.

Kevin McManamon. His strong running made a huge impact when brought on against Donegal.

Much as it would hurt Kerry to look towards Cork, Michael Shields' versatility would be very useful in defence.

Sean Cavanagh would suit Dublin as he can play anywhere from midfield up and has All-Ireland winning experience.

Experience. It's a proven plus whereas need is volatile. It might drive players to great heights of endeavour but experience is a real help when it comes to working logically and calmly through problems.Cork. They have a strong panel but the loss of Daniel Goulding (left), Ciaran Sheehan and Colm O'Neill from the attack was still too much to bear and it showed against Mayo.

PAT Gilroy: "We have invited all the startled earwigs I referred to two years ago along to tonight's celebrations."

JACK O'Connor: "How many more All-Irelands do I have to win to match Micko? Four. Is that all?

Kerry 1-15 Dublin 1-12

Colm Keys: Bryan Cullen has been slowly improving as the season has progressed. His quiet influence around the park may be about to get louder.

Kerry's Brendan Kealy may find himself busier than normal on Sunday but he's a wonderful shot-stopper. It could be important.

Donegal's Karl Lacey would be quite an asset to Kerry, either at half-back or corner-back.

Down's Martin Clarke could improve the distribution around the middle for Dublin and give the Brogans and Diarmuid Connolly an even better platform.

Kerry's greater experience. With only 70 minutes left in championship 2011, concerns over Kerry's legs aren't as magnified as they were at the start of the season. They know this road well.

Kildare. If Tomas O'Connor's legitimate goal hadn't been disallowed for an alleged square ball offence they would have beaten Donegal in the All-Ireland quarter-final. That's a strong form line.

Pat Gilroy( left): "As Hannibal Smith would say, 'I love it when a plan comes together'".

Jack O'Connor: "So much for this being no country for old men, lads."

Dublin 1-13

Kerry 0-14

Vincent Hogan: An All-Ireland final regularly throws up an unexpected hero and I've a feeling this will be no different.

Both sides are awash with marquee names, but a dark horse for man-of-the-match? Dublin's michael darragh macauley.

I suspect that Jack O'Connor wouldn't mind getting his hands on Stephen Cluxton or Donegal centre-back Karl Lacey.

For Pat Gilroy, the money would be willingly splashed on Tomas O Se, Down's Martin Clarke or, dare we say, The Gooch.

In this instance, hunger. But only as long as it doesn't, at some point, morph into desperation. There is an impression that Kerry meet these occasions on cruise control. It's up to Dublin to challenge that impression. If they do, game on.

Has to be Cork, realistically. Badly undermined by injuries this year, they still looked unforgivably complacent against Mayo. Paid a heavy price that Conor Counihan surely won't countenance paying again.

PAT Gilroy: "We knew it would take time to untangle Kerry's mass defence, so our patience was key."

JACK O'Connor: "Yerrah, Kerry badly needed this. The famine is over."


KERRY 0-17

Eugene McGee: Cian O'Sullivan (right), with strong Kerry roots, could be the person with nerves of steel to control Colm Cooper.

For Kerry, Declan O'Sullivan -- a man for the big occasion -- could break Dublin hearts.

Jack O'Connor would love to get Limerick midfielder John Galvin -- when injury free, he's a horse of a man in the Darragh O Se mould.

Pat Gilroy might be glad to have Mayo centre half-back Donal Vaughan in his half-back line.

Dublin's greater HUNGER to win, provided every single player on the panel has the balls to back it up when the chips are down in the final quarter.

Kildare because they have the necessary tactical structures in place after four years of Kieran McGeeney (left). But they need more top players to start coming through quickly.

PAT Gilroy: "Six o'clock tomorrow morning in DCU lads. Kerry will be over the top by next year."

JACK O'Connor: "Yerrah, not a bad All-Ireland win for a team with no midfield and a geriatric backline."

Kerry 1-14

Dublin 0-16

Clinoa Foley: Anthony Maher's midfield role has been relatively unsung and he could grab the limelight.

Dublin's bench looks the stronger and could offer a few wild cards. Could Eoghan O'Gara or Kevin McManamon come in and grab a goal?

Dublin? Donegal's Karl Lacey, (right) who'd bring the self-belief and leadership they often lack.

Kerry? They've had to invent centre-backs in recent years so Tyrone's Conor Gormley, an old school enforcer to hold the line.

Dublin's hunger. They have come so close beforehand and Croker is their second home so they're not inexperienced. Kerry have the better natural footballers and history but, on high-pressure days, pure raw hunger is often the deciding factor and Dublin are ravenous.

Kildare, heroic in their Greek tragedy summer. The sum of their parts is far greater than their individuals yet, pipped by a poor refereeing decision in the Leinster final, they still lit up the qualifiers. Then, against Donegal, they had a legit goal disallowed and, in extra-time, their hearts could no longer carry their legs.

PAT Gilroy: "Right lads, everyone back to Vincent's for a few scoops and, I promise, no more 6am training sessions."

JACK O'Connor: "Chalk it down, number 37! Now, do I have enough time to get the book finished for the Christmas market?"

Dublin 1-15

Kerry 1-13

Christy O'Connor: Dublin's Paul Flynn has been hampered with injury but has unreal athleticism and his work rate and importance to Dublin is massive.

Kerry's Bryan Sheehan is not seen as a natural midfielder but has been excellent going forward and his free-taking is immense.

For Dublin, Kildare's John Doyle. His work rate, experience and class would offer the perfect blend between midfield and attack.

Karl Lacey of Donegal would give Kerry the option of a leech type man-marker or an explosive counter-attacking half back.

Kerry's greater experience. Kerry are very much like Kilkenny hurlers -- there is never an issue with desire. Similar to Kilkenny, All-Ireland finals are second nature. Dublin can't call on that luxury.

Kildare. Got their tactics wrong for 40 minutes against Dublin but recovered. Beat Laois, Meath and Derry within 14 days and should have beaten Donegal in the most enthralling game of the championship.

PAT Gilroy: "Given that I'm from St Vincent's, they can call me the next Heffo now."

JACK O'Connor (left): "The Golden Years? Sure these are the real Golden Years."

Kerry 0-17

Dublin 0-15

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