Galway v Armagh, Saturday, Pearse Stadium, 5pm
Home advanrage will be crucial to Galway but Armagh steam-rolled Leitrim and have quality players all over the park. The Tribesmen have struggled against both Tipperary and Waterford since Mayo beat them and despite U-21 titles in 2002, ’05, 2011 and 2013 this hasn’t translated into success for the senior side.
Armagh are on a roll look the safest play.
Tip: Armagh 10/11 (-2 on the handicap)
Derry v Cavan, Saturday, Celtic Park, 5pm
Derry beat Down 0-13 to 1-5 in what was a fairly comprehensive win. They are Division 2 champions and should be good enough to overcome a Cavan side who beat Fermanagh in a tetchy game last weekend.
I’d expect this to be a tight and while Brian McIver has a few injury worries and may have to rejig his team – they should be good enough to step up to the mark.
Tip: Derry to beat Cavan 10/11 (-1 on the handicap)
Kildare v Tyrone, Saturday, Newbridge, 7pm (Live, RTE 2)
It’s crucial that the Lilywhites kept the game at Newbridge and despite them being odds on favourites – this a tough away tie for Mickey Harte’s side. Kildare bounced back well to beat Louth after the heavy defeat to Dublin and Kieran McGeaney’s side are the masters of the qualifiers. They’ve played 16 games in the last five years – winning 15 and drawing one.
I just have a feeling Tyrone will need to score goals if they are going to win this game.
Tip: Kildare to beat Tyrone 10/11 (+2 on the handicap)
Wexford v Laois, Saturday, Wexford Park, 7pm
This is a very tough game to call as there’s nothing between the two sides. Laois have two good wins under their belt and have been scoring freely. But Wexford have home advantage and won last week against Longford and even against the top sides – Aidan O’Brien’s team don’t get over-run them 70 minutes. I think the home side will shade it.
Tip: Wexford to beat Laois 11/8 (-1 on the handicap)