London v Sligo
Sligo should have enough class to escape from Ruislip unscatched but there could be a few scares along the way and London look great value at 9/4 with Paddy Power to lead at half-time. They welcomed Leitrim to Ruislip in the Connacht championship last year and found themselves two points in front early in the second-half. The concession of three goals proved their undoing as they lost out on a scoreline of 3-10 to 0-16.
London played all their Division 4 matches on home soil this spring, destroying Wicklow 1-16 to 0-10 but perhaps their most impressive display came in the loss to Division 4 champions Laois – 0-17 to 2-9. Laois are a better side than Sligo right now so that form looks very strong in the context of this tie. Expect London to put it up to the visitors right up until the final ten minutes.
New York v Leitrim
New York have never won a match in the All-Ireland championship but this is without doubt their best chance of ending the drought. This is New York’s 20th campaign in the Connacht Championship and, finally, their reputation as whipping boys can be ripped up. The key and obvious difference in 2018 is that Jamie Clarke has joined the side and the Armagh native is among the top five forwards around on his day, as he showed when seeing off Kildare almost single-handedly in last year’s All-Ireland qualifiers.
New York warmed up for the visit of Leitrim by dishing out a 13-point hammering to All-Ireland club champions Corofin and, while you have to take into account that the Galway side were without several key players, it is still a very positive result. Leitrim lost four of their six games in Division 4 of the league this spring and only scraped past London at this stage 12 months ago so this has all the ingredients of an upset.
Bet: New York to win