John Campbell's GAA match predictions
Allianz Hurling League Division One
(All matches at 7.30pm)
Down v Monaghan (Pairc Esler, Newry)
BOTH these sides lost last weekend although Monaghan are the team in real trouble with just one win from four outings. James McCartan’s side collapsed in the last 10 minutes against Cork while Eamon McEnaney’s charges showed true grit against Dublin. Still, home advantage and the fact that they may be stronger defensively should help the Mournemen to collect the points.
Verdict: Down to win by two points.|Ladbrokes odds: Down 8/13, draw 15/2, Monaghan 13/8
Derry v Donegal (Celtic Park, Derry)
THIS is a big game for both sides which will provide a telling pointer in terms of the promotion race. Donegal have been improving steadily under Jim McGuinness while Derry have recovered following their lapse against Laois. There is not much to choose between the sides and this suggests to me that it might just finish all-square.
Verdict: A draw.
Ladbrokes odds: Derry 4/5, draw 13/2, Donegal 13/10
Laois v Tyrone (Portlaoise)
MICKEY Harte was less than impressed with the Red Hands’ performance in their win over Antrim last weekend and will be looking for a much more sustained effort against Justin McNulty’s side who blotted their copybook for the first time in the league by losing to Kieran McGeeney’s Kildare last Sunday. Harte’s rhetoric and his players’ pride might see Tyrone triumph.
Verdict: Tyrone to win by two points.
Ladbrokes odds: Laois 6/4, draw 15/2, Tyrone 4/6
Allianz Football League Division One
(All matches at 2.30pm unless stated otherwise)
Armagh v Kerry (Athletic Grounds, Armagh)
ARMAGH’S win over Mayo last Sunday has added considerable spice to this tie. The Kingdom’s most recent win over Galway will have further fuelled their confidence. With Colm Cooper currently in superb form and competition for places hotting up, the visitors might just prevail.
Verdict: Kerry to win by two points.
Ladbrokes odds: Armagh 2/1, draw 15/2, Kerry 1/2
Antrim v Sligo (Casement Park 1.30pm)
THE handicap of playing without some of their big guns is currently undermining Liam Bradley’s side but they made the most of home advantage to claim the scalp of Meath a fortnight ago. Sligo have taken only one point from a possible eight and look prime candidates for relegation to Division Three. The Saffrons can speed them on their way by coming out on top.
Verdict: Antrim to win by two points.
Ladbrokes odds: Antrim 8/13, draw 15/2, Sligo 13/8
Wexford v Cavan (Wexford Park)
WEXFORD are at the top of the table on score difference while Cavan, who have been conceding some big scores, are currently consumed by relegation worries. It is difficult to see the Breffni side deriving any joy from this trip to the south-east.
Verdict: Wexford to win by four points.
Ladbrokes odds: Wexford 4/9, draw 15/2, Cavan 9/4
Leitrim v Fermanagh (Carrick-on-Shannon)
TWO Ulster managers, both of whom are in need of points, go head to head here. John O’Neill has watched his Fermanagh side blow hot and cold so far while Mickey Moran has observed his Leitrim outfit win two games from three outings and they now have two matches in hand over their Erneside visitors. Yet the Fermanagh rearguard, which has the potential to be a very solid barrier, might just be able to keep the home attack at bay to help establish the platform for victory.
Verdict: Fermanagh to win by three points.
Ladbrokes odds: Leitrim 13/8, draw 15/2, Fermanagh 8/13