Seán O'Shea, Kerry, and Brian Fenton, Dublin, in Allianz Football League action last year.
Seán O'Shea, Kerry, and Brian Fenton, Dublin, in Allianz Football League action last year.

Preview: Weekend's Allianz Football League action


Allianz Football League Division One

Saturday February 5

Kerry v Dublin, Austin Stack Park, 7pm

Sunday February 6

Armagh v Tyrone, Athletic Grounds, 2pm

Monaghan v Mayo, St Tiernach's Park, 2pm

Donegal v Kildare, Páirc Seán MacCumhaill, 2.30pm

An opening weekend of draws and drama means intrigue is attached to the next round of fixtures.

Kerry versus Dublin - stories guaranteed. An evolving Armagh host All Ireland champions Tyrone. Monaghan and Mayo looking for points. Donegal and Kildare anxious to make an impact,

A packed out Austin Stack Park provides the backdrop for Kerry's tussle with Dublin. So impressive and efficient in the McGrath Cup Kerry met a resilient Kildare in Newbridge.

Now Jack O'Connor's charges know that Dublin will be determined to deliver a statement down south.

The manner of Dublin's loss to Armagh is a source of worry for Dessie Farrell's management team. How will Dublin respond?

Prompted by Rian O'Neill's brilliance Armagh illustrated their considerable potential at Croke Park. Next on the agenda is an afternoon alongside Tyrone, who were involved in a battle with Monaghan themselves.

Having returned to the top tier Armagh will want to remain in Division One and they know that the Tyrone test is sure to be tricky.

Monaghan's tussle with Mayo in Clones promises to be a similarly engaging encounter. Again Mayo used grit and guile to come thundering back from five down to divide the spoils with Donegal.

Seamus McEnaney's Monaghan remain a solid and shrewd outfit, who will be eager to impress on home turf.

Glenn Ryan's installation as Kildare manager alongside a stellar backroom has injected optimism.

The spirited performance in front of a vocal crowd against Kerry delighted the locals.

Donegal, with Michael Murphy typically influential, had encouraging moments during the Mayo match. The fact that a decent lead slipped away, though, was disappointing.

In Ballybofey can Donegal summon a response?

Shane Walsh continues to impress for Galway.
Shane Walsh continues to impress for Galway.

Allianz Football League Division Two

Saturday February 5

Down v Galway, Páirc Esler, 5pm

Cork v Clare, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 7pm

Sunday February 6

Offaly v Derry, Bord Na Mona O'Connor Park, 2pm

Meath v Roscommon, Páirc Tailteann, 2pm

Another critical weekend beckons in Division Two with a string of interesting games on the agenda.

On Saturday evening at Páirc Esler Down, without the Kilcoo contingent, face Galway.

Down were soundly beaten by Derry on their last fixture, but James McCartan's charges should relish the opportunity to examine Galway's credentials.

Shane Walsh was in splendid form during Galway's win over Meath and similar inspiration will be required from the Kilkerrin-Clonberne clubman.

At Páirc Uí Chaoimh the all Munster clash between Cork and Clare is loaded with relevance.

Cork suffered a blow losing to a depleted Roscommon, while Clare enjoyed a fine triumph over Offaly.

That means the stakes are piled high down by the Lee for the locals, who must avoid a second successive loss.

Following a wretched afternoon in the west, Meath will be similarly minded in Navan.

Meath didn't register a score until the 45th minute in Salthill so a drastic improvement is required.

Roscommon, with Enda Smith impressing, took confidence and heart from the Cork victory.

In Tullamore Offaly's collection of emerging and established performers face a demanding assignment against Derry.

Rory Gallagher's developing team commenced the league in solid fashion and now want to take further strides forward in the coming weeks and months.

Limerick manager Billy Lee.
Limerick manager Billy Lee.

Allianz Football League Division Three

Saturday February 5

Antrim v Limerick, Corrigan Park, 2.30pm

Sunday February 6

Longford v Louth, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 2pm

Laois v Westmeath, MW Hire O'Moore Park, 2pm

Wicklow v Fermanagh, Aughrim, 2pm

Throughout the past decade Division Three has been extremely competitive with thrills and spills most weekend.

Antrim and Limerick both posted victories in their opening fixtures so that match is vital.

Billy Lee has improved Limerick's fortunes, but the green and white outfit want to push on even more.

A tough task awaits up north because Antrim and Enda McGinley appear to have formed a connection suggesting that real and sustained progress is being made.

Laois and Westmeath also made positive starts so an equally intriguing battle awaits.

Billy Sheehan has earned respect as a resourceful operator, but Westmeath bring able footballers, including the splendid John Heslin, to Portlaoise.

Longford and Louth both leaked goals at important times in the first round.

Whoever prevails in the midlands will firmly believe that a promotion push can be made. The loser will be burdened with worry.

Wicklow's meeting with Fermanagh should be a revealing contest also.

Even at this stage of the competition the value of putting points on the board cannot be underestimated.

Leitrim manager Andy Moran.
Leitrim manager Andy Moran.

Allianz Football League Division Four

Sunday February 6

Sligo v Carlow, Markievicz Park, 1pm

London v Waterford, Ruislip, 1pm

Tipperary v Leitrim, FBD Semple Stadium, 2pm

Cavan v Wexford, Kingspan Breffni, 2pm

Inevitably significant attention surrounds London's meeting with Waterford in Ruislip on Sunday afternoon.

Since taking on the challenging of managing London Michael Maher has become accustomed to dealing with adversity.

London went 23 months without playing a competitive game and when they got an opportunity they delivered in style at Netwatch Cullen Park against Carlow.

A storming comeback win ensures the Waterford match will be monitored closely.

Waterford, though, came within a whisker of taking Tipperary's scalp themselves so they will believe that a decent Division Four challenge can be maintained.

Niall Murphy and Seán Carrabine starred for Sligo in a resilient success over Wexford.

Now Sligo face Carlow, managed by Niall Carew, at Markievicz Park in a key fixture.

Tipperary's meeting with Leitrim is another attractive match with both counties striving to develop.

Conor Sweeney continues to accumulate healthy scoring hauls for Tipp, while Leitrim were gutsy against Cavan.

Ultimately Cavan prevailed and the favourites will be striving to overcome Wexford at Kingspan Breffni.