GAA weekend previews: Throw-in times, TV details, predictions

Seán Moran looks ahead to this weekend’s Allianz football league fixtures

Saturday

Division One

Donegal v Tyrone, Ballybofey, 7.30 (Live, RTE2) - Neither has been performing that fluently and Donegal paid the price when getting cuffed in Killarney. Tyrone gave an admirable display at home to Kildare, given that they were missing four significant players because of suspension. Motivation must be in Donegal's favour after months of being asked 'how they felt' when Tyrone won the All-Ireland given the close-run Ulster semi-final between the counties. The visitors could have been beaten last week but weren't and can pick up momentum.

Verdict: Tyrone

Division Two

Offaly v Meath, Bórd na Móna O'Connor Park, 2.30 - Meath benefited greatly last week from the return of Ronan Jones to centrefield but - allowing for a wind from hell - really struggled to turn a near monopoly of second-half possession into scores. This is probably one of Offaly's more targetable matches but they have really struggled to date whereas there were flickerings of life in the visitors display against Down.

Verdict: Meath

Cork v Galway, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 5.0 - Galway missed the chance to keep in step with Derry last week when storm Franklin made a predictable impact on Salthill's Windy City. They have been affected by a large Sigerson representation but are playing well to date. The exodus of Cork's experienced players leaves them doing a perilous amount of learning on the job.

Verdict: Galway

Down v Roscommon, Páirc Esler, 5.0 (Live, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport NI website, GAAGO) - Two different types of draw last week. Roscommon under-performed and could have lost after Ultan Harney's black card allowed Clare back into the game. Down, though, held on grimly for the result despite not scoring in the second half. They showed enough in the pace of Caolan Mooney and Liam Kerr up front as well as the accurate score taking in tough conditions and despite Barry O'Hagan's injury to suggest that they'll pose problems if the visitors don't step it up.

Verdict: Roscommon

Division Three

Wicklow v Limerick, Aughrim, 2.30 - Shock for Limerick last week with a late meltdown losing the points they were favoured to take. Wicklow have had their moments, particularly Kevin Quinn's contributions, in matches to date but Limerick, top scorers in the division, will be on the rebound.

Verdict: Limerick

Laois v Antrim, MW Hire O'Moore Park, 6.0 - Antrim laboured a bit against Wicklow but ultimately maintained their good scoring rate. Laois struggle a bit for their own scores although Eoin Lowry was excellent in the Westmeath defeat and they can harness home advantage.

Verdict: Laois

Division Four

Tipperary v Sligo, FBD Semple Stadium, 7.0 - Tipp's crisis went unexplored in Wexford because of weather and they welcome unbeaten Sligo this evening. A tougher challenge.

Verdict: Sligo

Sunday

Division One

Kildare v Dublin, Newbridge, 1.45 (Live, TG4) - This is going to more charged than would have appeared possible when the draw was made. Dublin are in crisis, their attack meandering and lacking conviction in competition with a poorly structured and porous defence for the title of Achilles heel. There was an improvement in Ciarán Kilkenny and Brian Fenton last week but at one point they were both occupied in defence dispossessing a forward when Dublin needed leadership up front.

Kildare had the beating of Tyrone and will lament not taking something from Omagh. With a big, febrile support and the wherewithal to hit all the visitors’ exposed nerves, this is a great opportunity for a fighting chance to stay up.

Verdict: Kildare

Mayo v Armagh, Dr Hyde Park, 2.0 - Mayo went about their work impressively in Croke Park without threatening to swamp the Dubs in the way Armagh managed. James Horan introduces a couple of new starters and has combined that team building with results. Diarmuid O'Connor was in good form last week and that really helps. Armagh were really lucky to escape Monaghan with a point intact but they exploited a numerical advantage to survive. This top-of-the-table meeting suggests someone is going to lose an unbeaten record and on form it's not the Westerners.

Verdict: Mayo

Monaghan v Kerry, Inniskeen, 2.0 - This pair have an interesting history, having split the last four matches evenly - they never met last year. Jack O'Connor needs to run the eye over some more players but this journey isn't to be taken for granted. Fractionally better accuracy and Monaghan would top the table on full points but the anchor of 39 wides in three matches means they sit on two points. Good news sees Conor McManus's suspension overturned - had he stayed on last week they probably would have won. It tightens the margins but Kerry get scores more easily.

Verdict: Kerry

Division Two

Clare v Derry, Cusack Park, Ennis, 1.0 - A test for both teams: High flying Derry are looking certain to go up in the world but this trip to constantly underestimated Clare will be a challenge. Podge Collins's return has strengthened the home team and they are unbeaten. Derry have been outscored by only Armagh and Limerick in the league to date and should take the points but who could be surprised if they didn't?

Verdict: Derry

Division Three

Longford v Fermanagh, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 2.0 - Results to date indicate that this pair are in danger of going down. They are both trying to find players as well as survive. Evenly balanced but something's got to give.

Verdict: Longford

Louth v Westmeath, Ardee, 2.0 - A timely boost for Louth with the surprising, come-from-behind defeat of joint leaders, Limerick. Sam Mulroy and Conor Grimes led the way for Mickey Harte's team but this next encounter against the other joint leaders may prove tougher. Westmeath have performed well since half-time in the Wicklow match and should win to copper-fasten promotion prospects.

Verdict: Westmeath

Division Four

London v Wexford, Ruislip, 1.0 - London's sparkling opening to the campaign has them in unchartered territory and having disposed of three mid-table teams, they now face the bottom side with every chance of maintaining one of only two three-from-three records.

Verdict: London

Cavan v Carlow, Kingspan Breffni, 2.0 - Cavan's drive back towards respectability will encounter no speed bump here.

Verdict: Cavan

Waterford v Leitrim, Fraher Field, 2.0 - Two of London's victims meet. Leitrim's defeat was the more surprising, as this might indicate.

Verdict: Leitrim

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times