Dublin: Going for three in a row. Kildare got closest to the champions in the Leinster final, losing by nine points, while Monaghan were demolished by ten points and Tyrone suffered a 12-point loss in the All-Ireland semi-final. Stephen Cluxton has only conceded one goal in five championship matches, while Dean Rock is the Dubs top scorer so far with 3-24 in five games – an average of 6.6 points per game. Diarmuid Connolly returned from his suspension when arriving on as a late substitute against Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Mayo: Can the bridesmaids finally get hitched? Mayo have walked down the aisle on so many occasions but keep stumbling when they reach the alter. This will be their tenth championship clash of 2017. They have drawn with Derry, Cork, Roscommon and Kerry in 70 minutes but find themselves in another All-Ireland final after a 2-16 to 0-17 semi-final replay success over Kerry. Andy Moran has been a revelation this summer and is second favourite to win the Footballer of the Year award, while Cillian O’Connor continues to rack up huge scoring tallies. He has now notched 3-59 in nine games, an average of 7.5 points per game
Verdict: Dublin are the calmest, most assured side we have seen for a long time. They do not panic and stick rigidly to the game-plan no matter what happens. They tormented Tyrone by holding onto possession and being patient, while they simply obliterated Westmeath, Kildare and Monaghan prior to that. This Dublin team is better than the 2016 one with Con O’Callaghan, Paul Mannion and Jack McCaffrey adding pace and panache to the side. There could be more heartache in store for Mayo and backing Dublin to win by one, two, three, four or five points at 6-4 looks a cracking bet.
Cillian O’Connor will finish the championship as top scorer, that’s a certainty. He has accumulated 3-59 over nine games and is 35 points clear of Dean Rock. But that seems to have been falsely factored into the price of him scoring more than his Dublin counterpart. O’Connor averages 7.5 points per game and, although Rock has only averaged 6.6 points per game in 2017, he picked up an early black card in the Leinster final against Kildare. Nine of Kerry’s 17 points came from frees in the semi-final replay against Mayo, while Dublin only conceded four points to Tyrone from frees. Given that Dublin are 2-5 to win the game and favourites to score more than Mayo, the 5-4 available about Rock outscoring O’Connor looks huge.
Con O’Callaghan and Paul Mannion have been the two biggest success stories in the latest chapter of this DUblin fairytale and Mannion looks overpriced at 9-2 to receive a Man of the Match nomination on RTE’s The Sunday Game. He was expection in the win over Westmeath, deservedly winning the Man of the Match award, and has been consistently dangerous in the wins over Kildare, Monaghan and Tyrone since. O’Callaghan is 11-4 to make the top three so Mannion does not deserve to be 9-2, he has been every bit as good as the Cuala clubman this season.