Tyrone's class to quell Royals
TYRONE v MEATH (Omagh, Today, 7.0)
TYRONE'S 'rebuilding' looks ominous just now. They've won every competitive match they've played in 2012 and Mickey Harte seems to be giving just the right amount of exposure to the newer faces while maintaining and building momentum.
Conor Gormley, Ryan McMenamin and Stephen O'Neill all start, adding a touch of class and plenty of experience to the mix.
For their part, the Royals' graph has been charting a downward course lately, and losing a couple of matches by a score doesn't do much for confidence. An away win against the country's form team is unlikely.
ODDS: Tyrone 2/7, Draw 9/1, Meath 7/2
Lilies to flower
KILDARE v WESTMEATH (Newbridge, Tom, 2.30)
QUITE where Westmeath's performance against Monaghan came from is anybody's guess, but Pat Flanagan will be hoping to bottle and reuse some of that inspiration as the weeks -- and relegation battle -- wear on.
They'll need every bit of it against a resurgent Kildare for whom all six of their starting forwards scored against Louth and, encouragingly, managed two goals. The one down side for Kieran McGeeney was the concession of 10 converted frees to Darren Clarke, suggesting greater execution in the tackle is required this week.
ODDS: Kildare 1/9, Draw 12/1, Westmeath 13/2 VERDICT: Kildare
DERRY v LOUTH (Celtic Pk, Tomorrow, 2.30)
SO influential was Paddy Bradley last week in Derry's win over Meath, you start to wonder how John Brennan ever did without him.
Four points -- two from frees -- was his sum scoring total, but his influence and threat were far more pronounced than the statistics suggest. Louth are struggling just now after a decent start to the competition and they'll find points harder to gather from here on in.
ODDS: Derry 2/7, Draw 9/1, Louth 7/2
Tribes to rule
MONAGHAN v GALWAY (Pearse Pk, Tom, 2.30)
NO shame in losing to Tyrone -- as Galway did last week -- but such is the congested nature of Div 2, the second-tier's third-ranked side still linger just two points above basement boys Louth. In between sit Monaghan, and if they produce any more displays like last week's against Westmeath they'll be in trouble.
ODDS: Monaghan EVS, Draw 15/2, Galway EVS VERDICT: Galway
BY CONOR McKEON