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Damien Comer and Aidan O Shea.

Damien Comer and Aidan O Shea.

Preview: Weekend's Allianz Football League action


Saturday February 10

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Allianz Football League Division One

Dublin v Donegal, Croke Park, 7pm

Kildare and Tyrone both started brightly against Dublin, but Jim Gavin's team still pocketed victories following dynamic second half displays.

Saturday's clash at GAA headquarters should be interesting especially considering Donegal require points following two narrow losses to Kerry and Galway.

Paddy McBrearty has been in splendid attacking form for Donegal, who will be eager to produce a performance against Dublin.

The All Ireland champions, though, have commenced the League in impressive fashion.

Allianz Football League Division Two

Cavan v Meath, Kingspan Breffni, 7pm

Cavan and Meath both have three points registered after two games so this should be a revealing encounter under the Saturday evening lights.

Meath's win over Clare was a positive statement from Andy McEntee's outfit, while Cavan's sold victory against Louth bodes well.

Mattie McGleenan is introducing a raft of newcomers to the Cavan set-up and they will be content with how things are moving so far.

CAVAN: James Farrelly; Niall Murray, Padraig Faulkner, David Phillips; Martin Reilly, Ciaran Brady, Enda Flanagan; Killian Clarke, Bryan Magee; Dara McVeety, Conor Moynagh, Oisin Kiernan; Caoimhin O'Reilly, Adrian Cole, Niall Clerkin.

Allianz Football League Division Four

Carlow v Leitrim, Netwatch Cullen Park, 5pm

Carlow are one of three teams with maximum points, while Leitrim have been beaten by Antrim and Laois.

Turlough O'Brien's Carlow are especially eager to launch a promotion bid and to realise that objective these are the types of games in which victories must be posted.

Leitrim's youthful panel continues to work hard, but they will be gunning to cause a mild surprise against an in-form Carlow.

Laois v Waterford, O'Moore Park, 7pm

Gary Walsh has starred in Laois' triumphs over Limerick and Leitrim.

Laois have quietly brought through a string of new players into the panel and two Division Four successes have been delivered.

Waterford drew with Wicklow in their opener, but Antrim proved too strong for Tom McGlinchey's team last Sunday.

Sunday February 11



Allianz Football League Division One

Galway v Mayo, Pearse Stadium, 2pm

With the teams set to meet in the Connacht Championship on May 13 this should be an interesting encounter in Salthill.

Galway beat Mayo out west in 2016 and 2017, but Stephen Rochford's Mayo regrouped to reach All Ireland finals in both those years.

That confirms Mayo's pedigree, but Galway are content that a couple of Division One wins have been achieved against Tyrone and Donegal.

Mayo overcame Monaghan before losing to Kerry in Castlebar so they will be intent on claiming points from their trip to Pearse Stadium.

MAYO: David Clarke; Brendan Harrison, Ger Caffrekey, Eoin O'Donoghue; Colm Boyle, Stephen Coen, Paddy Durcan; Jason Gibbons, Shane Nally; Kevin McLoughlin, Aidan O'Shea, Diarmuid O'Connor; Neil Douglas, Jason Doherty, Conor Loftus.

Kildare v Tyrone, Newbridge, 2pm

A critical contest in Newbridge between two teams, who crave a victory.

Kildare were unfortunate to lose against Monaghan, while Tyrone were much improved despite being beaten by Dublin.

Retaining Division One status is the brief and that cause would be greatly helped by the addition of a couple of points to the account.

Cathal McShane was prominent against Dublin for Tyrone and the visitors will be seeking to negate the influence of Kildare's accomplished midfielder Kevin Feely.

KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Peter Kelly, David Hyland, Mick O'Grady; Johnny Byrne, Eoin Doyle, Cian O'Donoghue; Kevin Feely, Tommy Moolick; Fergal Conway, Chris Healy, Paul Cribbin; Ben McCormack, Daniel Flynn, Cathal McNally.

TYRONE: Niall Morgan; Hugh Pat McGeary, Padraig Hampsey, Cathal McCarron; Tiarnan McCann, Rory Brennan, Ciaran McLaughlin; Mattie Donnelly, Declan McClure; Conor Meyler, Niall Sludden, Peter Harte; Lee Brennan, Cathal McShane, Connor McAliskey.

Monaghan v Kerry, Iniskeen, 2pm

It has been an encouraging start to 2018 for Kerry, who have carved out wins against Donegal and Mayo.

The promising Sean O'Shea has been a key figure, while Paul Geaney's relevance to the Kerry cause shouldn't be underestimated. Barry John Keane has also showed well for Kerry, who are still without several established performers due to injury.

Paddy Durcan's last gasp score for Mayo was a blow to Monaghan on the opening weekend, but they earned an important win in Newbridge.

MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Kieran Duffy, Conor Boyle, Barry Kerr; Neil McAdam, Paraic McGuirk, Karl O'Connell; Darren Hughes, Niall Kearns; Dessie Ward, Dermot Malone, Fintan Kelly; Conor McCarthy, Jack McCarron, David Garland.

KERRY: Shane Murphy; Shane Enright, Jason Foley, Ronan Shanahan; Paul Murphy, Andrew Barry, Brian Ó Beaglaíoch; Jack Barry, Barry O'Sullivan; Micheál Burns, Dáithí Casey, Stephen O'Brien; Jack Savage, Paul Geaney, Barry John Keane.

Allianz Football League Division Two

Clare v Tipperary, Cusack Park, 2pm

Tipperary were caught out by a dramatic Roscommon rally in Thurles, while Clare suffered a heavy loss against Meath.

Those setbacks ensure added significance is attached to this Ennis tussle.

There has been some sparkling forward play by Tipperary in their games to date, but they can expect to meet a determined Clare at Cusack Park.

TIPPERARY: Evan Comerford; Shane O'Connell, John Meagher, Alan Campbell; Bill Maher, Robbie Kiely, Jimmy Feehan; Liam Casey, Steven O'Brien; Josh Keane, Jack Kennedy, Brian Fox; Conor Sweeney, Michael Quinlivan, Liam McGrath.

Cork v Louth, Pairc Ui Rinn, 2pm

Mark Collins steered Cork to an impressive victory in Down and Ronan McCarthy's charges will want to embark on a winning run now.

Louth have found the transition to Division Two tough so far with last Saturday's defeat to Cavan a source of worry.

Ryan Burns was effective for Pete McGrath's team, who will be intent on causing a shock Leeside.

CORK: Ryan Price; Sam Ryan, Jamie O'Sullivan, Sean Wilson; Tomas Clancy, Conor Dorman, Cian Kiely; Ian Maguire, Ruairi Deane; Sean White, John O'Rourke, Kevin O'Driscoll; Michael Hurley, Colm O'Neill, Mark Collins.

LOUTH: Craig Lynch; John Bingham, Emmet Carolan, Fergal Donohue; Darren Marks, James Stewart, Anthony Williams; Conor Early, Bevan Duffy; Ciaran Downey, Jim McEneaney, Andy McDonnell; Derek Maguire, Conor Grimes, Ryan Burns.

Roscommon v Down, Dr Hyde Park, 2pm

For the second week in a row Roscommon came thundering back in the closing stages to outfox Tipperary.

The draw with Meath was also a notable result considering Roscommon trailed in the closing stages, but Diarmuid Murtagh continues to demonstrate his attacking talent.

At the opposite end of the field Roscommon will have to restrict the supply to Down's potent full-foward Connaire Harrison.

ROSCOMMON: James Featherston; David Murray, John McManus, Niall McInerney; Niall Daly, Fergal Lennon, Brian Stack; Tadgh O'Rourke, Enda Smith; Finbar Cregg, Niall Kilroy, Conor Devaney; Diarmuid Murtagh, Ciaran Lennon, Cian McKeon.

Allianz Football League Division Three

Armagh v Longford, Athletic Grounds, 2pm

A top of the table clash between Armagh and Longford, who have commenced the campaign brightly.

Armagh have been direct in their victories against Sligo and Westmeath. So unfortunate not to secure promotion last year Armagh are gaining belief and momentum.

Robbie Smyth and Seanie McCormack have been in prolific form for the midlanders, who must always be treated with the utmost respect.

Derry v Offaly, Celtic Park, 2pm

A vital match in Division Three as Derry and Offaly haven't earned a League win in 2018.

Damian McErlain's Derry were beaten by Westmeath and Longford. Offaly, under the stewardship of Stephen Wallace, have lost to Longford and Fermanagh.

Both teams are introducing new players to the senior inter-county game, but this match in Celtic Park carries huge relevance.

DERRY: Oran Hartin; Niall Keenan, Kevin Johnston, Ruairi Mooney; Liam McGoldrick, Carlus McWilliams, Michael McEvoy; Conor McAtamney, Emmett Bradley; Benny Heron, Enda Lynn, Ciaran McFaul; Conor Doherty, Terence O'Brien, Niall Toner.

OFFALY: Barry Rohan; Declan Hogan, Paul McConway, David Brady; David Dempsey, Sean Pender, Niall Darby; Peter Cunningham, Conor McNamee; Bobby O'Dea, Michael Brazil, Shane Nally; Bernard Allen, Anton Sullivan, Nigel Dunne.

Sligo v Fermanagh, Markievicz Park, 2pm

Rory Gallagher will be deeply satisfied with how Fermanagh overcame Wexford and Offaly.

Seamus Quigley's opportunism was evident for Fermanagh, who know that Sligo have the potential to cause problems.

Cathal Corey's Sligo responded to the Antrim defeat by eking out a valuable victory against Wexford. That was a resilient display from Sligo.

Wexford v Westmeath, Innovate Wexford Park, 2pm

Having operated in Division Four in 2017, Wexford and Westmeath will want to stay in Division Three.

Wexford have lost their first two matches; Westmeath beat Derry before losing to Armagh at TEG Cusack Park last Sunday.

Colin Kelly, though, is happy with how his Westmeath panel are working and this should be a good test in the south east.

WESTMEATH: Eoin Carberry; Mark McCallon, Killian Daly, Boidu Sayeh; Noel Mulligan, Frank Boyle, James Dolan; Alan Stone, John Heslin; Kieran Martin, Ronan O'Toole, Ger Egan; Callum McCormack, Luke Loughlin, Sam Duncan.

Allianz Football League Division Four

London v Limerick, McGovern Park, Ruislip, 1pm

London were competitive against Carlow and then posted a fine and morale boosting win over Wicklow.

Ciaran Deely's panel, sprinkled with London born players, now want to take more scalps.

Liam Gavaghan was immense in the Wicklow match and Limerick will be aware of his ability to drive forward landing scores.

Limerick have lost to Laois and Carlow so the visitors will be anxious to perform in Ruislip.

LIMERICK: Donal O'Sullivan; Gareth Noonan, Sean O'Dea, Brian Fanning; Daniel Daly, Paul White, Jim Liston; Darragh Treacy, David Ward; David Connolly, Cillian Fahy, Tony McCarthy; Peter Nash, Danny Neville, Jamie Lee.

Antrim v Wicklow, Corrigan Park, 2pm

It has been a solid opening for Lenny Harbinson's Antrim, who have defeated Leitrim and Waterford.

Wicklow drew with Waterford before losing in disappointing fashion against London in Ruislip.

How will John Evans' team respond in Belfast?

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