Sunday's Allianz Football League previews
Sunday, February 16
Allianz FL Division 2 round 3
Laois v Cavan, MW Hire O'Moore Park, 2pm
Laois supporters were understandably disappointed with John Sugrue stepped down as county football team manager at the end of last season.
He’d led them to consecutive promotions in the League as well as the 2018 Leinster Football Final, and generally bedded down a tactically smart game-plan that was also easy on the eye.
It’s starting to look like that the Laois county board have made another smart appointment by replacing one Kerry-man with another one in Micheál Quirke.
Laois have three points from their first two matches and the fact that those games were against serious opposition in the shape of Roscommon and Armagh makes the achievement even more laudable.
At times they took apart an Armagh side that themselves did a similar number on Kildare a week later, so that form line is very encouraging for Laois.
The midlanders are well-organised defensively and a direct attacking approach is getting the best out of Evan O’Carroll and Mark Barry.
Every match in this Division is a tough one, though, and Cavan will come to town on Sunday fully believing they can win.
The nature of their come-from-behind victory over Westmeath in Round 2 would have been priceless in terms of team-morale, and another win here would put them right in the promotion picture.
There won’t be much in it, but the greater threat posed by Laois’ inside forwards could swing it.
Allianz FL Division 3 round 3
Louth v Offaly, Drogheda, 2pm
This already feel like a big match for both teams in what’s a very competitive Division Three.
Offaly will feel that a single point is a poor return for the quality of some of the football they played in their opening two matches against Cork and Longford, while Louth are pointless despite pushing both Longford and Tipperary to the pin of their respective collars.
A defeat for either will suck them into a relegation battle, so the stakes are high.
Offaly look to have a bit more firepower in attack, especially if Cian Johnson can find some form after a quiet day by his high standards against Longford.
Allianz FL Division 4 round 3
Wicklow v Sligo, Aughrim, 1pm
Sligo will go top of Division Four if they defeat Wicklow by two points or more in Aughrim on Sunday.
Wins over London and Antrim gave them good early momentum so the adverse weather that postponed this match came at a bad time for Paul Taylor and his team.
“Look, it is disappointing when we had the preparation done and we were halfway there, but it was an act of nature and the pitch was unplayable and these things happen,” said Taylor this week.
“We’re ready to go now for 1pm on Sunday and have the extra week to prepare. From what we know of Wicklow, they are a very good side and are one of the contenders to get out of Division 4.
“They had a very good win over Waterford and they were going well in the O’Byrne Cup so they are a good side. Aughrim is like a fortress for them and it’s a huge advantage for them having it at home.”
Sligo will go into the game as favourites but if Wicklow can get a good supply of ball into inside forwards Seanie Furlogn, Chris O’Brien, and Eoin Darcy they’re capable of ending the Connacht county’s unbeaten run.