Michael Fitzsimons, Dublin, and Andy Moran, during an Allianz Football League clash at Elverys MacHale Park last February.
Michael Fitzsimons, Dublin, and Andy Moran, during an Allianz Football League clash at Elverys MacHale Park last February.

Preview: Allianz Football League Division One


Saturday February 23

Allianz Football League Division One

Dublin v Mayo, Croke Park, 7pm

It isn't exactly a crisis, but two defeats in three Allianz League games ensures Dublin will be especially anxious to accumulate points at Croke Park.

That Mayo provide the opposition adds to the sense of anticipation and crowd at what promises to be a particularly lively game.

Injuries have disturbed Dublin in recent weeks and the fact that James Horan's Mayo have chalked up three wins on the spin means this is a match worth monitoring.

Fionn McDonagh's emergence in the Tyrone triumph was noteworthy with the green and red satisfied to also secure wins over Roscommon and Cavan on home turf.

A trip to the capital, though, for a clash with Dublin is the acid test and Mayo know that a victory would leave them in a very healthy position.

On the flip side Dublin need to earn the spoils to stay in the race for a League Final berth and that is why this is a eagerly anticipated affair.

Mayo: Rob Hennelly; Brendan Harrison, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Paddy Durcan; Matthew Ruane, Donal Vaughan; Fionn McDonagh, Aidan O'Shea, Ciaran Treacy; Andy Moran, Brian Reape, Jason Doherty. 

Tyrone v Monaghan, Healy Park, 7pm

Retaining Allianz Football League Division One status is what Tyrone and Monaghan are intending to do this spring.

Niall Morgan's splendid, last gasp equaliser for Tyrone against Roscommon provided an injection of hope for Mickey Harte's charges.

Following losses to Kerry and Mayo the Red Hands took a point from their trip to Dr Hyde Park, but they need to add to the account quickly.

It has been a strange opening to the campaign for Monaghan, who beat Dublin before losing to Roscommon and Galway.

Suddenly Malachy O'Rourke's outfit are under duress and a trip to Omagh will certainly focus the minds.

Galway's Johnny Heaney and Kerry's Stephen O'Brien during a 2018 All Ireland Quarter-Final Group Phase encounter at Croke Park.
Galway's Johnny Heaney and Kerry's Stephen O'Brien during a 2018 All Ireland Quarter-Final Group Phase encounter at Croke Park.

Sunday February 24

Galway v Kerry, Tuam Stadium, 2pm

Peter Keane isn't getting carried away, but Kerry's first three matches have brought wins and that vital sporting ingredient: momentum.

It is why a curious crowd will flock to Tuam Stadium to see can the Kingdom maintain their efficient form.

That Kerry responded in the dying embers against Dublin was a good sign with Dara Moynihan and Sean O'Shea illustrating their vast promise.

Despite being without a string of key players Galway are satisfied to have defeated Cavan and Monaghan either side of a tepid loss to Dublin.

Similar to Keane, Kevin Walsh is looking to unearth new talent ahead of the Connacht Championship with Cein D'arcy and Padraic Cunningham enjoying some decent moments thus far.

Cavan v Roscommon, Kingspan Breffni, 2.30pm

Following three straight defeats this encounter is critical for Cavan, who want to avoid an instant return to Division Two.

Roscommon and Cavan have participated in some tasty tussles during the past number of years, but Anthony Cunningham's charges will know how vital this match is.

Having already gleaned a win and a draw from their opening fixtures Roscommon believe that remaining in the top flight is a most achievable target.

Conor Cox's precise finishing has been evident and Roscommon will want to deliver at Kingspan Breffni.

Mickey Graham's Cavan have been competitive their fixtures, but Galway, Kerry, and Mayo still found a way to triumph.