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Young Dublin defender the likeliest change as Jim Gavin ponders team for Kerry replay

 

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Eoin Murchan

Eoin Murchan

SPORTSFILE

Dublin manager Jim Gavin. Photo: Sportsfile

Dublin manager Jim Gavin. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

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Eoin Murchan

Jim Gavin is to resist the temptation to reshuffle and will keep changes to a minimum for Saturday's All-Ireland SFC replay, with Eoin Murchan the likeliest to graduate from the bench into Dublin's starting line-up.

Cian O'Sullivan, who suffered another problem with his hamstrings in the days before the drawn final, may only be in a position to provide defensive cover.

Despite his value to the team in his role as a 'holding' centre-back for Dublin in their last four All-Ireland victories, the prospect of O'Sullivan starting and breaking down again represents a serious risk for Gavin.

Such was the extent of the injury he suffered prior to the drawn game the last day, O'Sullivan was unable to fully take part in the Dublin warm-up, despite being named as one of their substitutes.

John Small, who suffered a hand injury last time, is again set to take his place in the defence. Murchan had a relatively positive impact after coming on for Small in the 58th minute as a blood sub, so much so that Gavin did not bring the former back on.

Seán O'Shea scored 0-3 from play from centre-forward in the drawn game and either Murchan or his clubmate Jonny Cooper would represent a more natural match-up on the Kenmare man.

Meanwhile, Gavin White and Brian Ó Beaglaoich are the Kerry players most under pressure for places in Peter Keane's starting team.

White struggled to keep tabs on Man of the Match Jack McCaffrey while Killian Spillane, Tommy Walsh and Jack Sherwood all made significant contributions as subs in the draw and could feasibly be promoted into the starting 15.

However, it's likely Keane won't start Walsh.

Irish Independent