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Dublin have painful memories of playing Kerry at Semple Stadium going all the way back to 2001 when Maurice Fitzgerald forced a replay with an incredible score from the sideline, and it was a replay that The Dubs would go on to lose to The Kingdom. Fans jammed up all the roads and the railways into Thurles to see those two games, so it’s an awful shame we can’t have supporters in to see this renewal of a great rivalry.
This is a very attractive game for the neutral and Kerry arrive into it after a brilliant performance against Galway last weekend. Peter Keane’s men are obviously still smarting after being shocked by Cork in the Munster Championship semi-final last year. That defeat left an open road for Dublin to collect their sixth All-Ireland title in a row. But, to me, Kerry are still the main danger to The Dubs and this is a meeting of the two best teams in the country.
The motivation is with Kerry to win this one, while Dublin’s focus may just be with retaining their All-Ireland crown come August. But, The Kingdom need to be winning every game coming into the Championship to get their confidence back to where it should be.
Dublin tried out quite a few new players in their routine win over Roscommon last week, but still won easily away at Dr Hyde Park. I’d expect them to kept experimenting here and with Kerry hell-bent on winning every match possible, I see them going with full-strength line-up again on Sunday. It’s a Kingdom win all the way here.
These are two losing teams from last weekend, and whoever suffers defeat here could be destined for relegation to Division 2. There really is a lot at stake at Pearse Stadium. Galway utterly collapsed against Kerry last weekend and lost by a whopping 22 points to them. Meanwhile, Roscommon weren’t humiliated in a nine-point defeat at home to Dublin.
Galway have to show a bit of pride in this game after what happened in Tralee and I’m looking at The Tribesmen to bounce back here. They must be a lot of hurt in the camp and Galway also have a home venue in their favour for this contest. Good teams are able to come back from embarrassing defeats like the one Galway shipped and I still believe there is a kick in them yet. Pádraic Joyce should get it out of them on Sunday and I’m tipping a home win in this one.
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