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Thursday 8 December 2016

Dublin eye super sixth

Westmeath pledge to have a cut against unbackable Blues

Jim Gavin has delayed announcing his Dublin line-up until 12 noon today. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Jim Gavin has delayed announcing his Dublin line-up until 12 noon today. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Dublin's all-conquering footballers are 70 minutes away from emulating their famous 1970s forebears by winning a sixth straight Leinster SFC title tomorrow (4.0).

And they are such overwhelming 1/50 favourites to retain the Delaney Cup in Croke Park that the bookies are giving underdogs Westmeath a 15-point handicap in the betting for this repeat of last year's provincial decider.

On that occasion Westmeath tried to stifle Dublin's prolific attack with a 13 or even 14-man defensive blanket.

However, manager Tom Cribbin has now promised a more attack-minded strategy aimed at delivering goals - a point echoed by Westmeath defender Jamie Gonoud.

"We want to put in a performance to try and beat probably the best team of this generation," said Gonoud.

"What we did last year was tried and tested and failed by inviting them on. That's not going to happen this year. We are going to go at the game and try and win it. That's just what we have to do," he added.

"We have heard so much about the Dublin footballers going forward, because all we have seen of them is going forward as teams sit back. So we're going to actually try and go at them, see what they're like defensively."

Jim Gavin has delayed announcing his Dublin line-up until 12 noon today, whereas the 20/1 outsiders yesterday named a team showing one change from their semi-final win over Kildare, Callum McCormack replacing injury doubt John Connellan.

The Leinster Council is expecting a crowd of around 40,000 - some distance short of the 47,840 that attended last year's decider.

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