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This game just shows the stupidity of the current Championship structures that are in place at the moment. We will have 17 of the 32 teams already gone out before the games on Sunday throw in and we will not have had a real competitive test for one of what you would consider the so-called top six teams yet.
Unfortunately, you can expect more of the same in this contest. This really is not fair on Leitrim, they really should be in a different Championship that caters for counties who struggle with playing numbers like they do because of a low population. These days they just can’t even hope to topple the likes of a Mayo. Leitrim have been beaten in all their games in Division 4 of the National League. They lost to Antrim, Sligo and Louth, and all of those teams are now out of the Championship already.
You can comfortably say Leitrim will follow them out the exit door on Sunday afternoon too and I do feel very sorry for the hand that they’ve been dealt. Mayo are absolutely massively odds on in the straight win market, so we have to look to the handicap for some interest. I reckon Leitrim will fight tooth and nail to keep the winning margin down here and to be honest, (+18) is a bit of an insult to them.
This could actually be a proper match compared to what we have seen in the Championship to date. Donegal have shown some very good form in the National League, and they also battered Down in Newry last time out in the Championship. The big issue going into this game for them is the injury to star player Michael Murphy. He would be a huge loss to Declan Bonner’s men if he can’t line-out on Sunday.
For their part, Derry have had a great 2021 so far, winning promotion to Division 2 of the National League and they are the only side in the country to claim a national title this year. They are now back where I feel they should be in the Gaelic Football pecking order. They have been very poor for the last number of years, but are now really a side on the up.
Derry should really put it up to Donegal in this contest. I really believe they are a good bet on the (+6) handicap that Paddy has on offer for them. Donegal may ultimately come out on top thanks to their great squad depth, but they should get a hell of a battle here.
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