Preview: Allianz Football Division One
Allianz Football League Division One
Saturday March 16
Monaghan v Cavan, Clones, 2pm
It has been a strange spell for Monaghan, who defeated Dublin on the opening weekend before suffering four losses on the spin.
Ultimately it means that they are joint bottom of the table alongside Cavan ensuring this Clones clash is loaded with significance.
Avoiding relegation is the brief for both teams so the stakes are certainly piled high.
Cavan have been fairly competitive, but the setback against Tyrone was damaging following an encouraging display when beating Roscommon.
Mickey Graham, though, will still feel that Cavan can retain top flight status, but this is a defining spring encounter.
Monaghan were unfortunate in a couple of games, but Malachy O'Rourke will be striving for an efficient performance when the neighbours visit St Tiernach's Park.
Galway v Roscommon, Pearse Stadium, 3.30pm
This promises to be an interesting tussle in Salthill following an edgy Connacht FBD League Final in January.
In recent years Galway and Roscommon have participated in some lively battles with Anthony Cunningham's outfit eager to remain in Division One.
Despite a lengthy injury list Galway are satisfied that six points have been accumulated, but they will be completely aware a pumped up Roscommon await.
Roscommon contributed handsomely to a gripping game when Dublin visited Dr Hyde Park so maintaining that level of football is the challenge.
GALWAY: Ruairi Lavelle; Eoghan Kerin, Sean Andy O'Ceallaigh, David Wynne; Gary O'Donnell, John Daly, Gareth Bradshaw; Tom Flynn, Ciaran Duggan; Peter Cooke, Shane Walsh, Johnny Heaney; Danny Cummins, Michael Daly, Antaine O'Laoi.
Dublin v Tyrone, Croke Park, 7pm
Two defeats in three matches examined Dublin's resolve, but the response has been solid.
Jim Gavin's charges proved too strong for Mayo at Croke Park before absorbing a gutsy Roscommon challenge.
Suddenly Dublin are placed second in the standings with two wins from the remaining fixtures likely to earn them a spot in the final.
Dublin have afforded some emerging players opportunities to shine with Darren Gavin motoring smoothly, but Tyrone will want to make a statement at GAA headquarters too.
Losses to Kerry and Mayo had Tyrone in a bit of bother, but after scrambling a draw against Roscommon, Tyrone have registered a couple of victories meaning they hit Croke Park heartened.
TYRONE: Niall Morgan; Padraig Hampsey, Ronan McNamee, Hugh Pat McGeary; Tiernan McCann, Frank Burns, Ben McDonnell; Cathal McShane, Richard Donnelly; Matthew Donnelly, Niall Sludden, Conor Meyler; Conor McAliskey, Peter Harte, Kieran McGeary.
Kerry v Mayo, Austin Stack Park, 7pm
Another Division One game carrying plenty of intrigue.
It has been a particularly good stint for Peter Keane's Kerry, who have chalked up five victories on the spin.
Mayo were moving smartly initially stitching a three match winning sequence together, but defeats to Dublin and Galway offered a reminder of how tough it can be in this environment.
Still James Horan's team know that an away triumph in Tralee would put them very much back in the reckoning for a final berth.
KERRY: Brian Kelly; Peter Crowley, Tadhg Morley, Brian O'Beaglaoich; Gavin Crowley, Paul Murphy, Tom O'Sullivan; Jack Barry, Mark Griffin; Dara Moynihan, Sean O'Shea, Gavin O'Brien; Kevin McCarthy, Tommy Walsh, Stephen O'Brien.
MAYO: David Clarke; Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins; Stephen Coen, Michael Plunkett, Donal Vaughan; Matthew Ruane, Aidan O'Shea; Fionn McDonagh, Conor Loftus, Diarmuid O'Connor; Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty, James Durcan.