GAA: Calling the shots on all the big games
Ulster Senior Football Championship replay
Down v Tyrone
Saturday, Pairc Esler, 6.30pm
It's not like Tyrone manager Mickey Harte to name false teams but he did last week with the inclusion of Paddy McNeice, who made way for Mark Donnelly before the ball was thrown in.
The chances are we might not be able to trust this team either. Those saying Down have missed the boat after the original game fail to take the Pairc Esler effect into consideration and how, after two seasons of mixing and matching, Conor Gormley and Justin McMahon are still the only healthy defenders of high quality in the county.
A big reaction is due from Tyrone. If not, they are in serious bother.
Derry v Donegal
Sunday, Celtic Park, 2pm
Without Mark McHugh through disaffection, Rory Kavanagh through suspension and Neil Gallagher through injury and Ryan Bradley and Ross Wherity through emigration, Donegal are paper-thin.
The question here to ask is how exactly Donegal are going to dig themselves out of Celtic Park tomorrow?
The deployment of Michael Murphy will be crucial. Jim McGuinness might need him at midfield to counter the Fergal Doherty-Patsy Bradley axis, but it would leave them blunt up top.
Donegal being Donegal, they will bring something new to the party, but the cloak of invincibility has long since been shed and teams now smell blood early on against them.
Expect a horrible affair with the fear of losing paramount.
Leinster Senior Hurling Championship
Laois v Antrim
Sunday, Portlaoise, 3pm
The task is simple. Beat Laois, and Antrim will play Wexford in the Leinster Championship proper. Lose, and they will have to face one of the front runners for the Liam MacCarthy in Galway, both games taking place a week later.
Last season Laois showed they were a measure above Antrim and, under the guidance of Seamus 'Cheddar' Plunkett, edged home by six. The league meeting this season was tighter, the goal coming in Laois's favour in a 1-21 to 0-21 win.
It could be a similar outcome here.
Christy Ring Cup
Derry v Kildare
Saturday, Owenbeg, 1pm
Despite missing Shane Farren, and with Liam Óg Hinphey struggling with injury, Derry are favourites for this. Kildare's relegation from the same league – in which, despite some puzzling performances, Derry survived comfortably – is ample reason.
Nicky Rackard Cup
Roscommon v Tyrone
Saturday, Athleague, 2.30pm
Playing their hurling a couple of rungs up the ladder from the Red Hands and with this game fixed for Athleague, it is no wonder Roscommon are warmly expected to make their way through this test without being overly exerted.
Tyrone spent the spring whipping the likes of Longford, Warwickshire and Leitrim in the bottom tier, but this will be a major step up.
Donegal v Fingal
Saturday, Letterkenny, 2.30pm
Heading for their second Nicky Rackard final in a row, Donegal should be in a position of reasonable confidence here, something reflected in their odds of 1/10 on to win.
Monaghan v Sligo
Saturday, Ballinamore, 2.30pm
The Oriel face Sligo in a play-off to preserve their Nicky Rackard status. Despite a topsy-turvy campaign, they should have the quality to do that.
Connacht Senior Football Championship
London v Galway
Sunday, Ruislip, 3pm
An encouraging league campaign might have added another arc onto the London story this spring after a glorious summer that brought a first-ever Connacht final and a Croke Park appearance.
However, manager Paul Coggins has articulated the reasons why a sustained effort with a settled panel will always be difficult and so they may be better suited to the one-off tests in Championship.
Galway stumbled through an indifferent league campaign in Division Two, but the threat of London has been well flagged-up by this stage and Alan Mulholland's side will be well aware of what to expect.
Munster Senior Hurling Championship
Cork v Waterford
Sunday, Semple Stadium, 4pm
With Aidan Walsh set to make a Championship debut for Cork, Jimmy Barry Murphy's side are operating off an even deeper panel than they had last year when they came within seconds of delivering Liam MacCarthy.
Eleven of the side who started the replay begin this game, with Damian Cahalane the newcomer.
Waterford have endured a poor build-up, with training held in secret after Derek McGrath was instructed not to gather the squad for collective sessions for a month.