This game has goals written all over it and the advice is to get on over 3.5 match goals at generous odds of 6/4 with Paddy Power. Cork have netted ten times in their last three outings, including three against Kerry, and they could give the Dublin defence plenty to think about.
Somehow Laois manager John Sugrue left his two deepest defenders, included the one-paced Denis Booth, out be slaughtered for the vast majority of the 70 minutes and they paid the ultimate penalty. They were hammered. Brian Hurley kicked 2-4 and Mark Collins got 1-8. It goes without saying Dublin have the potential to unlock this Cork defence at their leisure so we could be in for a goal-fest.
Donegal are probably the closest thing to Dublin right now, but Meath led at half-time in both their outings in Division 2 earlier this year and they look value to complete the hat-trick in the first round of the Super 8s. There was huge pressure on Meath last Sunday. A favourable draw against Clare meant anything other than victory would have shattered all the progress made this season. They were nervy and lack composure under pressure.
Now they have reached the last eight, there is less pressure on Andy McEntee’s men and expect them to make an explosive start in Ballybofey. They led 0-9 to 0-8 at the halfway mark during the early stages of the league and were 1-10 to 0-8 to the good at half-time in the Division 2 decider too after galloping into an early 1-6 to 0-1 lead. Donegal’s class might shine through when it matters most but Meath look a massive price to lead at half-time at 7/2. They have been breaking well from the traps all year.
Kerry have not lost a championship match at Fitzgerald Stadium since their Munster final defeat to Cork way back in 1995 and don’t expect that remarkable record to end on Sunday as the Kingdom have too much firepower up front for a Mayo side that have done well to get to this stage of the competition given their tricky path and endless list of injuries.
A two-man full-forward line of Paul Geaney and David Clifford, with Stephen O’Brien and Sean O’Shea running from deeper, has the potential to unlock this Mayo defence and the two-point handicap should be safely passed by the hosts at just above evens. Kerry’s Munster final win over Cork, albeit more workmanlike than wonderful, does not look bad form now given what the Rebels did to Laois last Saturday. They are still All-Ireland contenders and have more to offer than Mayo.
*All odds correct at time of posting