herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Lilies equipped to find right formula in Farney County

MONAGHAN v KILDARE

(Clones, Tom, 2.30)

KIERAN McGEENEY kept his players in the Croke Park dressing room for 35 minutes after last Saturday's loss to Tyrone, and while the message to his players was never aired publicly, you kind of got the feeling it wasn't polite reassurance.

Monaghan won't let them claim a brace of easy points, but even a mild improvement on last week should see McGeeney's men take them anyway.

ODDS: Monaghan 13/8, Draw 15/2, Kildare 8/13

VERDICT: Kildare

TYRONE v DERRY

(Omagh, Tomorrow, 2.30)

CROKE Park has often had something of a medicinal effect on Tyrone, and just one week into the new season proper and the sun is appearing from behind the Red Hand county clouds with a trip to Jones's Road.

The February optimism garnered from beating Kildare comes with a warning. With so many of their All-Ireland winners now retired, they are more reliant than ever on the good form and fitness of the likes of Stephen O'Neill and Owen Mulligan.

ODDS: Tyrone 1/2, Draw 15/2, Derry 2/1

VERDICT: Tyrone

GALWAY v LOUTH

(Pearse Stadium, Tom, 2.30)

GALWAY are a county for whom the landscape has suddenly changed for the better.

The gloom caused by the fact that Michael Meehan may not play inter-county football again was partly lifted by the win in Celtic Park and the revelation that Pádraic Joyce is back.

Despite beating Westmeath in their own opener, Louth still have the look of a team who will be forced to scrap hard for points and don't look good enough to get any in Salthill.

ODDS: Galway 1/5, Draw 10/1, Louth 9/2

VERDICT: Galway

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