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Desperate Down needier

DOWN v MAYO

(Newry, Tonight 7.0, Live Setanta Ireland)

BEFORE a ball was kicked, Down would have been flagged by many as likely candidates for the drop. Nothing to alter that viewpoint has happened in the interim: they are pointless after three games.

Tonight they host a Mayo team that embarrassed them in last year's All-Ireland quarter-final; one that contributed handsomely to a pulsating contest with the Dubs last weekend. Away win banker then? We're not so sure.

Down have already lost twice at home this spring, but they gave as good as they got against Tyrone and after last Sunday's injury-time ambush by Cork, manager James McCartan described their first half as "probably one of the best halves of football during my tenure".

Mayo ran out of attacking ideas against 14 Dubs. Home advantage and desperation for points might just sway the outcome here.

ODDS: Down 9/5, Draw 15/2, Mayo 8/13

VERDICT: Down

– COMPILED BY FRANK ROCHE


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