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Colm O’Rourke: Mayo have proved they’re not bottlers and I’m backing them to beat Dublin

by Sean Goff | September 4, 2015

If last week’s evidence is anything to go by – then Mayo are on a mission.

Dublin looked to have them well-and-truly beaten after they scored their second goal and were playing champagne football. But their indiscipline cost them dear as Mayo proved that they are one of the resilient teams in the Championship.

They’ve proven to themselves and others that when there’s a fight on they’re no quitters and that will give them a massive boost for Saturday’s replay.

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Counting the cost

Having Denis Bastick and Michael Darragh MacCauley black-carded really cost Dublin in the middle of the park and heaped more pressure on Stephen Cluxton’s kick-outs as Mayo’s fightback began.

The Westerners now have the wind at their backs. I can’t remember a team coming from seven points down to snatch a draw with 10 minutes left in an All-Ireland semi-final.

I think you’ll see Mayo push forward a little on Saturday to try and take advantage again in the middle if Cluxton kicks it out. Mayo are at their strongest there and if they can win plenty of ball in the centre – they’ll be motoring.

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Push up

Mayo’s management might also decide to push Aidan O’Shea closer to goal to take advantage of high-dropping balls. But the Breaffy club man might also need someone to play alongside him up front to help with the heavy lifting.

Dublin shackled him reasonably well last week but O’Shea will learn from that. All the good players do.

I’d expect him to have a bigger impact on Saturday evening and I’m sticking with Mayo to win the game @ 5/4.

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Achieve your goal

Dublin will miss Diarmuid Connolly – he’s been a big-game player for them – particularly last year.

I find it hard to reconcile his ban with Mayo corner-back Kevin Keane having his case overturned after the quarter-final. He was available last Sunday – even though he didn’t play.

Connolly’s loss is significant and I’m not sure the Dublin bench is as strong as we all thought it was. Whoever takes the penalties now will have to come into the first goalscorer reckoning.

Bernard Brogan (4/1) is always a contender for the Dubs while Cillian O’Connor (13/2) and Aidan O’Shea (7/1) as the first goalscorers would be Mayo’s most likely headline makers.

We got the total points covered right last weekend (under 38.5) and I the line has been set at 37.5 points for Saturday.

It’s going to be close again so under 37.5 points total at 4/5 looks the play if you’re a neutral looking for a novelty bet.

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