Monaghan v Tyrone, Saturday, 4pm
This is the third year in a row that these sides have met and it’s honours even so far.
Tyrone may be the underdogs but they have momentum and put Sligo away quite easily last weekend. Monaghan on the other hand have had to sit on their hands since they beat Donegal in the Ulster Final.
I think Tyrone are a bet here at 6/4. They’re sure to clamp down on Monaghan’s chief score-getter Conor McManus and can build from there.
If they isolate the threat from McManus then I’m not sure Monaghan have the same range of scores in them that that Tyrone have in Mark Bradley, Sean Cavanagh, Tiernan McCann and Darren McCurry.
Expect a defensive slog but Tyrone look the play in what could be a low-scoring affair.
I can’t see too many goals coming but Darren McCurray @ 11/1 to get the first goal or 17/2 to score first for his team is the best goal-poacher on show here.
Mayo v Donegal, Saturday, 6pm
This looks a proper Championship match and could be the one to light up the Championship.
The last time these two heavyweights met Mayo disposed of Donegal very clinically and I’d take them to do the same again despite their long layoff since winning the Connacht final against Sligo.
Mayo have some very good players and there’s a lot of speed in the side. If they can isolate Ryan and Mark McHugh than they can reward handicap backers (Mayo -1 at evens) by pulling away and winning this by four or five points.
Cillian O’Connor at 11/2 or Aidan O’Shea at 6/1 look the obvious picks for the game’s first goalscorer for the Westeners while Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty or Colm McFadden are the likeliest goalscorers for them.