Wexford have a fighting chance against Kildare at Croke Park

The attacking line of Ciaran Lyng, Ben Brosnan and PJ Banville fancy their chances

If there’s to be a shock at all in the football championship this weekend, this has the look of where we might have it.

Kildare were impressive for most of their league campaign but it was Division Three football, let's not forget – and they didn't even end up champions.

They have an experienced panel and a coach who has seen sideline duty on massive days but have they achieved anything to make them worthy of being five-point favourites?

Not that Wexford are world-beaters. But they have a bit about them, especially when it comes to putting together a score. Clare showed that Kildare aren't exactly masters of catenaccio when running up 2-17 in the Division Three final – it's feasible that an attack by Ciarán Lyng, Ben Brosnan and the returning PJ Banville could up a competitive total.


The availability of Daithí Waters is a huge plus for David Power's side and his battle with (presumably) Tommy Moolick in mid-field will be worth watching.

For Kildare, the return of captain Eoin Doyle from injury is a pleasant surprise. Any side with Doyle, Emmet Bolton, Eoghan O'Flaherty, Eamonn Callaghan and Alan Smith won't lack for experience. But Cian O'Neill must be worried the late capitulation against Clare hints at a soft centre. If Wexford can keep it close and Lyng has the sort of day he's capable of, this could go the way of the underdogs.

Malachy Clerkin

Malachy Clerkin

Malachy Clerkin is a sports writer with The Irish Times