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Marc Ó Sé previews seventh and final round in Division One

| 24.03.2022

Kerry reached the Division One final in the Football League last weekend, but who will join them in the title decider?

Marc Ó Sé gives us his thoughts on Sunday’s seventh and final round in the Football League.

Monaghan v Dublin (Sun, 13.45)

Only four players scored for Monaghan last weekend. Conor McManus scored eight points out of a total of 1-12 so it just shows how reliant they are on him.

With rejuvenated Dublin coming to town it really is backs to the wall for Monaghan. Dublin lost their first four games but are now only a victory away from holding on to their Division One status. They looked like the Dublin of old last weekend against Donegal. They recovered very well after the early Paddy McBrearty goal.

I have been impressed by how Dublin have protected the back line and in particular their inside backs in their last two games. Even though Monaghan is a difficult place to go to, I still fancy Dublin here and they are my pick of the week.

Donegal v Armagh (Sun, 13.45)

Donegal have been the most disappointing men’s team in Division One given the strength in depth they have in their panel. When Michael Murphy was in the full forward line last weekend they looked dangerous. Maybe Donegal will use him here against Armagh as he caused problems for the Dublin full-back line.

However, their build-up play was far too slow against Dublin. It allowed Dublin to get bodies back and protect their defence. They will need to be a lot more direct against Armagh. If they are, they will be there or thereabouts. It’s interesting that Donegal are not playing this game in Ballybofey as this would give Aarmagh experience on that field on April 24 for the championship title. Mind games for sure !

Armagh, I think, will be determined to get to a league final and will throw everything at this game. A month out from the  Championship, I don’t think any team will hold back here. On current form I will go for a narrow win for Armagh but would not rule out a draw.

Kerry v Tyrone (Sun, 13.45)

I expect Kerry manager Jack O Connor to put out a second-string team here with a view to resting his more important players for the National League Final. That said, I am sure it will give the fringe players an opportunity to impress.

Tyrone are fighting for their lives here and will want to avoid relegation whilst also making sure they avoid injuries for the opening round of the Ulster Championship.

I still think they will come to Killarney with a strong team, though. On the last two occasions they came to Killarney, Kerry gave them a footballing lesson. However, I do not see that happening here as the Clifford brothers and Seanie O Shea will not be on the field. A Tyrone win for me.

Mayo v Kildare (Sun, 13.45)

There is a suggestion that Mayo coach James Horan has no interest in getting to a National League Final with one eye on Galway and the Connacht Championship. I don’t necessarily buy into that as I don’t think James will want to lose the last three League games in a row and will be hoping for a strong finish in the League. We saw how they celebrated their League title in 2019 and how much it meant to them.

Kildare will take huge confidence in beating Monaghan last weekend. A victory here with other results going their way means Kildare could also find themselves in a League final.

That said, I think they will just be happy to stay up in Division One. Even without Daniel Flynn last weekend they put up a huge score; 24 points against Monaghan is good going.

Ben McCormack was very good at centre forward, scoring three points but he also had a hand in a good few scores. If he can reproduce that type of form again on Sunday you have to give Kildare a great chance. However, for me Mayo have too much experience here and should win with a few points to spare.

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Warren Barner