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gaa preview 17/06/2023 sport preview

GAA Preview 17/06/2023: Galway can land statement win

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Selections

GAA Preview 17/06/2023: Saturday from 6:00pm

A bumper weekend of GAA action lies ahead with the final games in the All-Ireland Football round robin stage taking place across Saturday and Sunday alongside Tailteann Cup action and the first of the knockout games in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.

Football fans are crying out for an end to the phony wars that have made up the group stage, with jeopardy set to arrive via the knockouts next weekend. 

The All-Ireland Football Series lacks a standout candidate. Kerry have struggled at times, while Dublin are yet to convince and Mayo haven’t really kicked on after an excellent spring. Galway complete the perceived ‘big four’ and a win this weekend should send them straight to the quarter-finals with a pep in their step.

Selections

  • Galway to beat Armagh 
  • Roscommon to beat Kildare 
  • Monaghan to beat Donegal

*Prices subject to fluctuation.

Farney should see off Donegal

Monaghan vs. Donegal, Healy Park, Omagh, Saturday June 17, 6.00pm

– Live on GAAGO

Saturday evening sees the curtain call in Group 4 where Clare are already eliminated ahead of their showdown with Ulster champions Derry. 

The Oak Leaf side need a win there, allied to Monaghan failing to win against Donegal in Omagh, or Derry racking up a better differential as the pair are currently tied. 

Monaghan, meanwhile, have to be somewhat wary of a Donegal outfit that showed up fairly well at times in their defeat to Derry last time out. The Tir Conaill side were, however, exposed by some porous defending as Derry scored three second-half goals.

The bright spot for Donegal was the Man of the Match display from Oisin Gallen, while skipper Paddy McBrearty returned from injury off the bench in Ballybofey.

Monaghan, meanwhile, tipped over 1-23 in their dispatch of Clare last time – with Donegal only tallying 0-14 against the Banner County previously. 

This should be tight for much of the way but, as Derry did recently, Monaghan can eventually find some gaps in the Donegal rearguard and make a telling impact on the scoreboard. 

Roscommon too good for Kildare

Roscommon vs. Kildare, O’Connor Park, Tullamore, Sunday June 18, 1.45pm

– Live on RTE2

Earlier on Sunday afternoon, Kildare take on Roscommon in Tullamore in what should be a typically standoffish tussle. 

Both sides are heading for the knockouts, barring something out of the ordinary. Roscommon will top Group 3 if they win this game by the same or more distance than Dublin can put between themselves and Sligo in Breffni Park at the same time.

Kildare remain a conundrum. Their Leinster semi-final date with Dublin in May was a real arm-wrestle, but Dessie Farrell’s side had nine points to spare when they met again in Nowlan Park earlier this month despite the Dubs missing some key players. 

Glenn Ryan’s troops now face the Rossies knowing that a slender loss is likely to serve its purpose of keeping their season going. Kildare can achieve that goal, but they are on borrowed time.

Tribesmen should see off Armagh

Galway vs. Armagh, Carrick-on-Shannon, Sunday June 18, 4.00pm

– Live on RTE2

Top spot in Group 2 will belong to Galway if Padraic Joyce’s side can get by Armagh when they clash in Carrick-on-Shannon on Sunday afternoon.

Wins over Tyrone and Westmeath have paved the way for Galway, although they had to work harder than expected before pulling away against the latter in Mullingar last time out. 

Peter Cooke impressed for Galway in that game, scoring four points from play and generally acting as playmaker for the maroon and whites. 

Last year’s All-Star midfielder Cillian McDaid has been occasionally deployed in a man-marking role this summer to the detriment of his own attacking instincts at times, but it’s all part of the jigsaw Joyce is hoping will fall into place and reward them with a first Sam Maguire Cup since 2001.

Having made their first final since that last summer, Galway are firmly in the mix again and, arguably, look the strongest of the four major contenders right now.

Armagh, by contrast, are merely drifting at this stage. They edged out Westmeath before a two-point loss against Tyrone where erratic shooting was their downfall, although Rian O’Neill’s dismissal on 26 minutes was a huge blow, too.

Armagh were touted for a big season, both in league and championship, but it hasn’t happened. Galway are moving along nicely and can cement their status with a win on Sunday. 

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