GAA Football

GAA Matchbox: Previews & Odds for all the weekend's Championship games

Meath will hope James McEntee can put on a performance against Dublin tomorrow Picture by Philip Walsh
Pádraig Ó Meiscill

Leinster SFC semi-finals (tomorrow, Croke Park, live on GAAGO): Kildare v Westmeath (2pm); Dublin v Meath (4.30pm)

MEATH were scintillating in their 22-point quarter-final win over Longford, with no less than 12 of their players getting their names on the scoresheet at Páirc Tailteann.

It is stating the blindingly obvious that they face a challenge of a completely different magnitude tomorrow afternoon, but the performances of the likes of Jordan Morris, Cathal Hickey and James McEntee against Longford will have given them cause for cautious optimism.

Dublin were laboured in their defeat of Wexford in the last round, in what was their narrowest margin of victory in a Leinster Championship match since their 2013 provincial final win over the Royal county.

However, even with their injury issues and the question marks that continue to hang over Stephen Cluxton is anyone really expecting anything other than a comfortable Dublin victory at Headquarters?

In tomorrow's other semi-final, an improving Kildare side take on a Westmeath team who will be playing their football in Division Three next year. Despite that disappointing National League campaign, however, Westmeath were on fire in their 16-point hammering of Laois in the last round.

Ger Egan was their talisman that day and if himself and the likes of Ger Heavin, David Lynch and Lorcan Dolan can hit the ground running they will prove more than a handful for Kildare.

The Lilywhites had a tough quarter-final against Offaly, although the performance of Neil Flynn in kicking 1-7 was enough to get them through. They were promoted to Division One in the spring and anything less than a Leinster final appearance will feel like an underachievement.

The return of Daniel Flynn to the Kildare ranks may be enough to see them past Westmeath.

Odds: Kildare: 4/11; Draw: 8/1; Westmeath: 3/1

Dublin: 1/33; Draw: 25/1; Meath: 11/1

Verdict: Kildare & Dublin


Ulster SFC semi-final: Armagh v Monaghan (Páirc Esler, 4pm, live on Sky Sports)

See match preview P74

Odds: Armagh: 6/5; Draw: 15/2; Monaghan: 10/11

Verdict: Armagh

Leinster SHC final: Dublin v Kilkenny (Croke Park, 7.30pm, live on RTÉ)

THE semi-final victory over Galway will have been a massive psychological boost to Dublin and made Kilkenny sit up and take notice.

If Conor Burke at the back and Danny Sutcliffe up front perform as they can Dublin will fancy their chances, but if TJ Reid gets into gear Kilkenny should prevail.

Odds: Dublin: 11/4; Draw: 10/1; Kilkenny: 4/11

Verdict: Kilkenny

All-Ireland SHC Qualifiers round one

Clare v Wexford (Semple Stadium, 1.30pm, live on Sky Sports)

WEXFORD took Kilkenny to extra-time in the Leinster semi-final and, for periods, they had the Cats on the ropes at Croke Park.

Lee Chin hit 0-14 in that agonising defeat and Davy Fitzgerald will need him to be on form again today.

Clare will be hoping Tony Kelly can help them put the controversy of that Munster semi-final defeat to Tipperary behind them.

Odds: Clare: 8/11; Draw: 9/1; Wexford: 7/5

Verdict: Wexford

Laois v Waterford (Nowlan Park, 2pm, live on GAAGO)

DESPITE Waterford's tepid performance in their Munster quarter-final defeat to Clare, this shouldn't be anything other than comfortable Déise victory.

Odds: Laois: 14/1; Draw: 25/1; Waterford: 1/100

Verdict: Waterford

Joe McDonagh Cup final: Kerry v Westmeath (Croke Park, 5pm, live on RTÉ)

KERRY are in the final by the skin of their teeth following their defeat to Meath while Westmeath won two from two in Group A.

Odds: Kerry: 9/4; Draw: 10/1; Westmeath: 4/9

Verdict: Westmeath

Joe McDonagh Cup relegation play-off: Kildare v Meath (Parnell Park, 3pm)

VICTORY over Kerry will have given Meath a big morale boost ahead of today's clash, but Kildare should have too much for the Royals.

Odds: Kildare: 8/13; Draw: 8/1; Meath: 13/8

Verdict: Kildare

Christy Ring Cup quarter-final: Roscommon v Sligo (Dr Hyde Park, 3pm)

ROSCOMMON lost two from two in Group A, but only by the bare minimum to Derry last time out. Sligo suffered a heavy defeat to Offaly in their play-off.

Odds: Roscommon: 8/11: Draw: 8/1: Sligo: 11/8

Verdict: Roscommon

Nickey Rackard Cup quarter-final: Armagh v Leitrim (Breffni Park, 1.30pm)

LEITRIM gave a good account of themselves in defeat to Donegal, but Armagh should be winning this with a bit to spare.

Odds: Armagh: 1/16: Draw: 16/1; Leitrim: 15/2

Verdict: Armagh

Lory Meagher Cup quarter-final: Fermanagh v Monaghan (Brewster Park, 1.30pm)

FERGAL Rafter should have the scores to see Monaghan past the Erne county and into the semi-finals.

Odds: Fermanagh: 9/4; Draw: 10/1; Monaghan: 2/5

Verdict: Monaghan


Ulster SFC semi-final: Donegal v Tyrone (Brewster Park, 1.45pm, live on RTÉ & BBC)

See preview P76

Odds: Donegal: 5/6; Draw: 15/2; Tyrone: 13/10

Verdict: Tyrone

Munster SHC final: Limerick v Tipperary (Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 4.15pm, live on RTÉ)

LIMERICK had too much off the bench for Cork in their semi-final and their strength in depth may prove to be key again tomorrow.

Cian Lynch, Peter Casey and Darragh O'Donovan are always dangerous for Limerick while Kyle Hayes will likely be his usual dynamic self from wing-back.

Tipp will need Jason Forde and Séamus Callanan to be firing on all cylinders to keep pace with the Treaty, but the prospect of a first Munster three in-a-row since the 1930s is likely to spur the reining All-Ireland champions on to victory.

Odds: Limerick: 2/5; Draw: 10/1; Tipperary: 5/2

Verdict: Limerick

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