GAA expert and TV 3 pundit previews a mouth-watering All-Ireland semi final clash between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park on Sunday (3.30pm)
Kerry will hope to deny Dublin possession in midfield. In Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper the Kingdom have a forward who’s scored two goals in his last two Championship clashes against the Dubs. The Capital mustn’t give away an early goal as even though they’re odds-on, Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s side have a better head-to-head record.
- Dublin have only won 7 of the 26 Championship meetings between the sides
- Kerry hammered the Dubs in 2009 (1-24 – 1-07) despite the Capital being odds-on favourites
If you use Cork as the yardstick, Dublin beat the Rebels by five points (1-16 0-14) in the quarter-final. Kerry came out two points to the good in the Munster Final. I expect Dublin to be able to pull away in the closing stages as they’ve really been on fire this year. So far, Jim Gavin’s side have scored 8-69 and they are are a much more offensive side than last year. The League Champions are heading into their 12th game at Croker.
Bernard Brogan and Paul Mannion are the two chiefs threat for the Dubs. Brogan will get special attention and it’s likely Mark O Se will stick to him. But that could leave Paul Mannion free to roam and at 15/2 to score the first goal and 3/1 to hit the net at anytime looks a bit of value.
I’ve already mentioned the ‘Gooch’ has two goals in his last two Championship games against the Dubs while James O’Donoghue has an eye for goal and two good feet. At 9/1 to score first and 3/1 to strike at anytime he’d be my pick as a likely net-buster for the Kingdom.
The difference with Dublin this season is that they can overcome adversity and throw players on from the bench that will get them scores. In Dean Rock, Kevin McMenAmin, Eoghan O’Gara and Denis Bastick they have strength in depth and can freshen things up when needed.
If all the forwards click in this game I’d fancy Dublin to cover the handicap (-2) @5/6.
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