Kerry: Kerry have enjoyed a comfortable trip to this stage of the championship, waltzing through Munster and easily taking Galway in the All Ireland Quarter Final. Paul Geaney has been the star man for them up front, notching 1-5 in the Munster Final, and has been well complemented in the full-forward line by Kieran Donaghy and James O’Donoghue. While Kerry would have possibly preferred a greater test prior to Sunday, the competitiveness within the squad will ensure there will be no complacency, as players battle amongst themselves for a place on a strong starting 15.
Mayo: Mayo crashed out of the Connacht championship at the hands of Galway, and they have struggled their way through the qualifiers since. They needed a replay to fend off the challenge of Roscommon in the All Ireland Quarter Final, but they were ruthless in that display, finishing with four goals. 2016 Footballer of the Year Lee Keegan finished with 1-3 in the drawn game, and although his loss wasn’t felt in the replay, Mayo will need him, among other stars Aidan O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor, to be in top form to defeat this Kerry side.
Verdict: Kerry and Mayo have taken part in some epic battles in the past number of years, with Kerry regularly enjoying victory. These two teams have taken completely different paths to this stage of the championship, with Kerry hoping to peak on Sunday, while Mayo look to continue their improvement in performances that carried them through the qualifiers and replay with Roscommon. There’s no doubt that both teams relish the chance to play in Croke Park, so expect both to improve their performances markedly. Although not yet fully tested, Kerry’s greater strength in depth can prove key as the game moves into the closing stages, and their stronger bench can close out a victory for Kerry.
Two very attacking sides will meet in Sunday’s All Ireland Semi Final, and it looks like goals will be on the cards. While Kerry have scored just one goal in each of their championship outings so far, they have created numerous opportunities that they haven’t needed to take. They have enjoyed comfortable victories so far, so have been content to take points rather than go for goal. Mayo have scored 12 goals in their 7 games, and were ruthless in the quarter final, putting 4 past Roscommon. Both team will need to take every goal-chance they get on Sunday, so expect over 2.5 goals to be scored.
While Kerry haven’t scored too many goals so far in this campaign, they haven’t needed to do so, but that will be a different case on Sunday. Their inside forward line of Paul Geaney, Kieran Donaghy and James O’Donoghue are deadly when given opportunities and they, along with runners from deep, can put this Mayo defence under serious pressure and score at least two goals.